Morning Music: Billy Bragg

Talking with the Taxman About PoetryI’m going to try to do a little series of union or at least worker songs for the Morning Music posts. Since it was brought up the other day in comment, I thought I would start with Billy Bragg performing his song “There Is Power in a Union.” It is not the Joe Hill song (which I will do tomorrow). It is his own lyrics to more or less the melody of “Battle Cry of Freedom.”

He introduces it with a brief discussion of faith. It is something that is near to my heart. But it also explains why I would never make a good activist of any kind. I’m not good with faith. I don’t believe in promises. My experience in life is that things stay the same, but just get more so. But I want to believe. And I know that it is true that there is power in a union.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Billy Bragg

  1. I’m not familiar with Bragg, save his nice song “Take Down The Union Jack” (which can be applied to no small number of countries.) He seems really genuine here, not bogus rock-star posing. I think he believes what he says. I’m not sure I believe what he says, or that the arc of history bends towards justice, but it’s important that other people do believe it and occasionally drag pessimists like me along.

    • The working class British accent makes up for any problems. But I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Daily Show and he said that the arc of history bends toward chaos. I thought, “That’s why I love him so much!” But I want to be optimistic. Really I do!

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