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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Len Wallace Origins: Little Red Wing / Union Maid (40) Lyr Add: UNION MAID^^ 29 Nov 99


There once was a union maid
who never was afraid
of the goons and ginks and company finks
and deputy sheriff who'd make the raid.
she'd go to the union hall
when the meeting it was called
and when the company boys came around
she'd always stand her ground.

Oh you can't scare me I'm sticking to the union
I'm sticking to the union, I'm sticking to the union
No you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union
I'm sticking to the union till the day I die.

This union maid was wise to the tricks of the company spies.
She'd never get fooled by company stools
She's always organise the guys
She'd always get her way when she'd strike for higher pay.
she'd show her card to the National Guard and this is what she'd say . . . Chorus

A number of years ago, I spoke with Pete Seeger about the third verse. He claimed that it was written by the Almanac Singers just before they went into the studio to record the song on record. And this is what they came up with:

Oh, you maids who want to be free
Just take a little tip from me.
Just marry yourselves a union man
and join the Ladies Auxiliary.
Working life ain't hard
when you've got a union card.
A union man has a happy life
when he's got a union wife.

Now, there has been debate as to whether or not Woody Guthrie actually did write that verse. However, Charlie King has dug up a third verse that WAS written by Woody. Unfortunately, I don't have it at my fingertips right now.

There were a number of versions for a third verse floating around since the sixties. This is the one I sing which takes a little from each:

Oh, maids if you want to be free
Just take a little tip from me.
Just get yourselves a union card
and organise your liberty.
You've got to take a stand.
We'll all work hand in hand.
Just move your bones like Mother Jones
and join the union grand.^^

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