Happy May Day! Celebrate the way the labor movement always does — with music! We’ve gathered some favorites for you here.
Start with Talking Union performed by Pete Seeger, Tom Glazer, Hally Wood Faulk and Ronnie Gilbert in 1947:
You may remember Joan Baez singing this song in the movie Woodstock. Here Joe Hill is sung by the revered (and hated) African American singer Paul Robeson.
The Black Eyed Peas sang Union in South Africa.
When people need a real boost, they choose Do You Hear the People Sing? from Les Miserables. Here the Wisconsin Labor demonstrators at the State House in Madison show us why.
People used to like labor unions. This commercial from 1978 is part of their message.
Women in the labor movement had songs of their own, especially this one. It’s called Bread and Roses and sung by Joan Baez and her sister Mimi Farina.
Here is a recently released video by Tom Morello, celebrating the recent struggles of unions in our culture today.
Finally, the song written as a tribute to the women of Detroit who supported the Autoworkers strike in Flint: Union Maid. This version comes from Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Garden, on May 3, 2009 and features Billy Bragg, Mike & Ruthy Merenda, Dar Williams and the New York City Labor Chorus