Day 59, Song 79

Pete Seeger

Which Side Are You On?

Pete Seeger was a social activist and one of the most famous folk musicians of the 20th Century. Some of his best known songs are "If I Had a Hammer" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

This song was written by Florence Reece, a social activist, poet, and singer from Tennessee. According to Alan Lomax, who collected the song in the late '30s, Reece wrote it when she was twelve years old. It was popularized years later by Pete Seeger, who first learned to play it in 1940.


Come all of you good workers Good news to you I'll tell Of how that good old union Has come in here to dwell Chorus Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? My daddy was a miner And I'm a miner's son And I'll stick with the union Till every battle's won They say in Harlan County There are no neutrals there You'll either be a union man Or a thug for J.H. Blair Oh, workers can you stand it? Oh, tell me how you can Will you be a lousy scab Or will you be a man? Don't scab for the bosses Don't listen to their lies Us poor folks haven't got a chance Unless we organize —— Music and words by Florence Reece