The Big Red Songbook


2016 Edition

In stock


250+ IWW Songs!

Edited by Archie Green, David Roediger, Franklin Rosemont, Salvatore Salerno
Foreword by Tom Morello
Afterword by Utah Phillips
PM Press and Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company

In 1905, representatives from dozens of radical labor groups came together in Chicago to form One Big Union – the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), known as the Wobblies. The unionwas a big presence in the labor movement, leading strikes, walkouts, and rallies across the nation. And everywhere its members went, they sang.

Their songs were sung in mining camps and textile mills, hobo jungles and flophouses, and anywhere workers might be recruited to the Wobblies’ cause. The songs were published in a pocket-size tome called the Little Red Songbook, which was so successful that it’s been published continuously since 1909. In The Big Red Songbook, the editorshave gathered songs from over three dozen editions, plus additional songs, rare artwork, personal recollections, discographies, and more into one big all-embracing book.

IWW poets/composers stove to nurture revolutionary consciousness. Each piece – whether topical, hortatory, elegiac, or comic – served to educate, agitate, and emancipate workers. A handful of Wobbly numbers have become classics, still sung by labor groups and folk singers. They include Joe Hill’s sardonic “The Preacher and the Slave” (sometimes known by its famous phrase “Pie in the Sky”) and Ralph Chaplin’s “Solidarity Forever.” Songs lost or found, sacred or irreverent, touted or neglected, serious or zany, singable or not, are here. The Wobblies and their friends have been singing for a century. Mat this comprehensive gathering simultaneously celebrate past battles and chart future goals.

Additional information

Weight 18.5 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.5 in


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