Monday, March 09, 2009

Bread and Roses

By James Oppenheim - Commemorating the Lawrence textile strike of 1912 - And unofficial anthem of International Women’s Day - March 8

As we come marching, marching,
In the beauty of the day

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts grey

Are touched with all the radiance that
A sudden sun discloses

For the people hear our singing,
“Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
go crying through our singing their ancient cry 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 come 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!

As we come 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 while one reposes
but a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!