Labor Song Parodies

Check out these labor song parodies: My Guy, My Union Stands By Me, Marching in the Street, We Are UNION!, Punch It In Is All We Do, Hospital Workers, I Can't Survive, Into a Union.

Lean on Me

(Original by Bill Withers) New words by Julie McCall, Washington, DC

Verse: Sometimes, on our jobs, we feel alone

We just can’t take it

But if we organize, history has shown

That we can make it!

Chorus: UNION – we can be strong

We can have friends

To help us carry on

Yes we can hang on

As long as we have a Union to lean on

Verse: When– the boss get you down, we’ll pick you up

Help you to fight it

Hard times come around, but if you are wronged

We’ll try to right it!

Bridge: Just call on your Union, when you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

You just might have a problem that we’ll understand

We all need a Union to lean on

Chorus: UNION – we can be strong

We can have friends

To help us carry on

Yes we can hang on

As long as we have a Union to lean on
Chorus

Chorus

Marching in the Street

Tune: Dancing in the Street
Lyrics: Elise Bryant, Lisa Marie Smith, Betty Coleman

Calling out around the town,
Get up on your feet!
The struggle is here and the time is right
For marching in the street
Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, here in Detroit City…
All we need is unions, Strong Unions. There’ll be Unions everywhere.
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and pepper spraying
While we’re marching in the street.

Oh, it doesn’t matter who they are, they can’t push us back too far
So come on everybody, grab a sign, and don’t you cross that picket line!
We be marching, we’re marching in the streets.

We want negotiation, not confrontation, a chance for all to meet
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and pepper spraying
While we’re marching in the street.
Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, here in Detroit City….
All we need is Unions, Strong Unions. There’ll be Unions everywhere.
There’ll be swinging, swaying and pepper spraying
While we’re marching in the street.

Oh, it doesn’t matter who they are, they can’t push us back too far.
So come on everybody, grab a sign, and don’t you cross that picket line!
We’re marching, we’re marching in the street.
Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, don’t forget the Motor City
Don’t forget the Motor City, don’t forget the Motor City
Don’t!

My Union

Tune: My Guy
Lyrics: Julie McCall

Nothing you could say could take me away from My Union
Nothing you could do, cause my point of view is Union
I know my rights, I’m standin’ tall
My Union contract says it all
I’m sayin’ it from the heart
I can’t be torn apart from My Union

Nothing you could find gives me peace of mind like My Union
Nothing you could get gives me self- respect like My Union
We’ve all fought hard for what we’ve got
And when it comes to organizing–we’re hot!
You’d best be believin’
that I’m really needin’ My Union

As a matter of opinion, I think we’re tops
Union members are the cream of the crop
As a matter of fact, we all agree
That Street Heat is the place to be!

No company lie could make me say good-bye to My Union
No dirty tricks, cause I’m gonna stick with My Union
I’ll stand by you, you’ll stand by me
Cause we’ve got solidarity
There’s not a boss today who could scare me away from My Union

My Union Stands By Me

Tune: Stand By Me
Lyrics: Julie McCall

When the boss calls me in
And the axe is about to fall
And the pink slip is all that I can see
I’m not afraid, no I’m not afraid
Cause I know the union stands by me

CHORUS
Oh, brothers , sisters, stand by me
Oh, stand by me
I know my union stands by me

When I’m pulled off my job
And they want to conference me
And a grievance form is what I really need
I’m not uptight at all
Cause I’ll just give my steward a call
And I know that my Union stands by me

CHORUS

Well, the time has come
When we all must organize
Cause a Union is our only remedy
So I’ll go spread the word
And let my voice be heard
Cause I know that my Union stands by me.

We Are UNION!

Tune: We Will Rock You

Thump, thump, CLAP
Thump, thump, CLAP
Thump, thump, CLAP
Thump, thump, CLAP

WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

We’re demanding fairness
Bosses* couldn’t care less
We’re gonna fight for our rights today
It’s a big disgrace, a slap in the face
They’re tryin’ to cut back* all over the place

WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

No more Union-busting
It is so disgusting
We’re organized and we’re here to stay
Put on the heat, out in the street
Union power can never be beat

WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

*Put in the name or your boss or company

**Put in your own issue

Punch It In Is All We Do

Tune: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Lyrics: Julie McCall

Down, dooby, doo, down, down
My computer’s down, dooby, doo, down, down
My computer’s down, dooby, doo, down, down
Punch it in is all we do

Right from the day we got those VDTs
My life has been so full of misery
No one knows what we’ve been through
And punch it in is all we do.

Remember when you held that pencil tight
And all you needed to know was how to write
Now there’s fifty different screens to view
And punch it in is all we do.

They say that using software’s hard to do
Now I know, I know that it’s true
This program’s blowing my mind
I tried to enter EKG, it came up under valentine!

I wish I knew which switch to pull
I think the situation’s terminal
The system’s down and I am too
Cause punch it in is all we do

Hospital Workers

Tune: Stars and Stripes Forever
Lyrics: Paul McKenna

We’re hospital workers out on strike
Struggling to make a decent living
Fighting the bosses and the scabs
And we are not about to give in.
We’re demanding living wages,
We gotta get a raise!
We gotta get a raise!
Our wages are outrageous
We gotta get a raise NOW!

Oh, we’re out walking on the picket line
And we’re ready to keep on walking.
And to carry around our picket signs
Til the management sits down to do some talking

When they hear us singing Solidarity Forever
(Yes, the union makes us strong.)
With our voices proudly raised in harmony together.
(Come and sing our union song.)

We shall overcome the opposition
Of the hospital employers.
We shall not be moved by their injunctions
And their high-priced downtown lawyers.
Our enthusiasm won’t diminish
We are in the battle ’til we finish.
Til the bosses hear what we are saying
Realize that we’re not playing

We’ll stay out in the heat and the cold
Through the wind and the rain and the weather.
Our union is going to prevail.
Stick together and we won’t fail.
We’ll stand hand in hand unified
And we won’t let the scabs and bosses bust us.
With courage and spirit and pride
We will unite to wage the fight
For Bread and Justice. Hey!

I Can’t Survive

Tune: I Will Survive
Lyrics: Lynn Marie Smith and Lisa Canada

First I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live on six twenty-five.
I thought I’d earn a living wage when the stock began to rise
But I was wrong and then I tried to get along

I broke my back, picked up the pace
I go to work, do as I’m told, without a say about my fate.
I should have asked the CEO with all the guards around the door
To share the millions that he makes while the rest of us stay poor.

Oh, let’s go, let’s turn the page
I joined the union so I could make a living wage
You corporate bosses tell the workers they are great
We agree, now we want more but we can’t wait.

Oh, no, not I, I can’t survive
Oh, without a living wage I don’t know how I will get by.
I’ve got all these bills to pay even though I work all day
And I can’t survive, I can’t survive.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live on six twenty-five.
I thought I’d earn a living wage when the stock began to rise
But I was wrong and then I tried to get along

I broke my back, picked up the pace
I go to work, do as I’m told, without a say about my fate.
I should have asked the CEO with all the guards around the door
To share the millions that he makes more than the CEO of Ford.

I’m standing tall, I will not fall
Cause an injury to one of us is an injury to all.
I deserve my equal share, make the playing field fair
I can’t survive, I can’t survive.

Into a Union

Tune: Making Whoopee
Lyrics: Glenn Plummer

Another night, another day
Of living tight from pay to pay
But here’s the reason my life ain’t easin’
Ain’t got a Union

I go to work when work is there
I never shirk, I do my share
It doesn’t matter, my wallet’s flatter
Without a Union.

Sometimes I sit and daydream
Wondering how things could be
Silly to some it may seem
But I’d like seniority

Grievance procedure when things ain’t fair
Vacation leisure, without a care.
Benefit fringes, I know it hinges
On being Union.

We need each other, hear what I say
Sisters and brothers, there’s just one way
We’ve got to realize, we’ve got to organize
Into a Union.