Happy Labor Day!
If you are lucky, you’re celebrating Labor Day on a lake or a boat or a hammock somewhere. You’re firing up the grill or packing up the picnic basket. You’re carrying a watermelon to your in-laws and hoping your three-year-old will take a really long afternoon nap. (Pro Tip: That last one is me.)
If you are less lucky, you’re laboring on Labor Day. If that’s the case–or if you’ve fired up the computer before hitting the lake or the backyard–please enjoy these labor-themed folk songs. At my house, we sing them every Thanksgiving, sliding seamlessly from Christmas carols to Union Maid. (And if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.)
First up: Pete Seeger singing Union Maid to a Very Reserved bunch of Australians in 1963. I forgot about the last verse of this one. It’s a little . . . retro. But classics are like that, aren’t they? Anyway: hit it, Mr. Seeger:
Next, Utah Philips singing the great Joe Hill song “There is Power in the Union”:
Finally, something light and not, technically, a folk song: Newsies. Because how else are twelve-year-old girls going to get their consciousness raised? YouTube let me down a little, so this is not the 1992 movie version but the 2012 Broadway version. Which, I will admit, is still pretty great. Let us seize the day:
What are you doing or not doing this Labor Day?