Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Preacher and the Slave
(Tune: “Sweet Bye and Bye”)

By J. Hill

(A sample of many parodies upon Christian hymns which are published by the Industrial Workers of the World, and sung by the migratory workers of the Far West in their camping-places, known as “jungles.” While this selection and the one following can hardly be classed as literature, they have their interest as social documents. It was Napoleon who said that if he could write a country’s songs, he would not care who wrote its laws.)
LONG-HAIRED preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

        You will eat, bye and bye,
          In that glorious land above the sky;
        Work and pray, live on hay,
          You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.
And the Starvation Army they play,
And they sing and they clap and they pray,        10
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they’ll tell you when you’re on the bum:  (Chorus)
If you fight hard for children and wife—
Try to get something good in this life—
You’re a sinner and bad man, they tell,        15
When you die you will sure go to hell.  (Chorus)
Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight;
When the world and its wealth we shall gain
To the grafters we’ll sing this refrain:        20

You will eat, bye and bye,
  When you’ve learned how to cook and to fry;
Chop some wood, ’twill do you good,
  And you’ll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

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