Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website


Bread and Roses, song lyrics

Song: Bread and Roses
Lyrics: James Oppenheim(2) (3) (4)

Music: Martha Coleman(2) (3) (4)
Year: 1911 (poem), 1912 Music(2) (3) (4)
Genre: Folk
Country: USA


As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!

As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.

As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.


Notes:

1 - Commonly associated with the Lawrence Massachusetts textile workers strike of 1912, after the textile corporations cut the hours and salaries of all workers in response to the State of Massachusetts passing a law limiting the working hours of children under 18 to 54 hours a week. See Lawrence Strike of 1912 from Women Working, 1800-1930, Harvard University Library, and The Strike That Shook America 100 Years Ago from the History Channel.

2 - American History in Song: Lyrics from 1900 to 1945, by Diane Holloway, p.97-98

3 - Songs of Peace, Freedom an Protest, by Tom Glazer, published by David McKay Company, 1970, p.40-41.

4 - The Liberated Woman's Songbook, by Jerry Silverman, 1971, p.60-61.