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Bill Bailey, The Ultimate Sectarian, song lyrics

Song: Bill Bailey (The Ultimate Sectarian)
Lyrics: Joe Glazer and Bill Friedman(1)

Music: Joe Glazer and Bill Friedman(1)
Year: 1951(1)
Genre: Folk-Comedy
Country: USA


Bill Bailey belonged to every radical party that ever came to be,
Till he finally decided to start his own party so he wouldn't disagree.
He got himself an office with a sign outside the door, with "Marxist League" in letters red,
And to everyone who came around these were the words he said:

"Oh, you may be a friend of Max Shachtman(2), Jim Cannon(3) and you may agree,
You may get along with Norman Thomas(4) and with Algernon Lee(5)
You may be an old-time Wobbly(6), and think Jay Lovestone's(7) fine,
Yes, you may be a comrade to all of these folks, but you ain't no Comrade of mine."
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
For 17 years Bill Bailey kept his office with the sign outside the door,
But he never, ever got a new member. Everybody made him sore.
And then one night, there came a big fire and through the flame and smoke,
As the firemen rushed in to save Bill's life, these were the words he spoke:

"Oh, you may be a friend of Ben Gitlow(8); Reverend Muste(9) and you may agree,
You may get along with Emma Goldman(10) and with the S.L.P.(11).
You may have belonged to every radical party that ever had a line,
Yes, you may be a comrade to all of those folks, but you ain't no comrade of mine."
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
And so on this day, Bill Bailey passed away, and his soul to Red Heaven flew.
He was met at the gate by old Karl Marx(12) and Friedrich Engels(13), too.
They said, "Welcome, comrade," as they opened the gate to let Bill come inside,
As he slammed the door back in old Karl's face, these were the words he cried:

"Oh, you may be a friend of Karl Kautsky(14), and a pal of Ferd LaSalle(15),
You may get along with William Liebknecht(16) and the First Internationale(17),
Yes, you may have inspired every radical party from the Hudson to the Rhine,
Oh, you may be a comrade of all of those folks, but you ain't no comrade of mine."


Notes:

1 - From their 1952 album, Songs For Sectarians

2 - Max Shachtman was an associate of Leon Trotsky who eventually moved towards being a Social Democrat.

3 - Jim Patrick Cannon was an American Trotskyite and a leader of the Socialist Workers' Party.

4 - Norman Mattoon Thomas was a socialist.

5 - Algernon Lee information from Wikipedia.

6 - "Wobbly" was the common term used for themselves by members of the International Workers of the World (I.W.W.)

7 - Jay Lovestone, originally known as Jacob Liebstein.

8 - Benjamin Gitlow

9 - Reverend Abraham Johannes Muste a labour organizer.

10 - Emma Goldman was a very prominent anarchist thinker.

11 - Socialist Labor Party of America

12 - Karl Heinrich Marx, considered one of the founders of communist theory.

13 - Friedrich Engels, considered another of the founders of communist theory who worked closely with Karl Marx.

14 - Karl Johann Kautsky, another Marxist theoretician.

15 - Ferdinand Johann Gottlieb Lassalle, (originally Lassal), a contributor to socialist theory.

16 - Wilhelm Martin Philipp Christian Ludwig Liebknecht, a German social democrat and founder of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

17 - The First Internationale information according to Wikipedia.