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Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Lunch break

By Ezra Klein

Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie perform Woody Guthrie's 'Union Maid':

By Ezra Klein  | February 18, 2011; 12:46 PM ET
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I love these old-timey organizing songs. I used to sing them with some lefty political pals in Boston twenty years ago. This one sticks with me because the local ice cream truck plays this melody in its constant summer routes around our town. I'm guessing the melody goes with some other lyrics in their mind, but I always break out in song when they pass through our neighborhood. "Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking with the union..." Love it.

Posted by: BldrJanet | February 18, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It's official Ezra, you rule.

Posted by: Castorp1 | February 18, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

A song for useful idiots everywhere.

Posted by: msoja | February 18, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I know a song: it's called "Soggy the mooching thug."

One more:

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | February 18, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, propaganda music. Is there anything lovelier?

Hey, Ezra, maybe you can post some like this...

... and then yerl relly rulz dood.

Posted by: msoja | February 18, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Another great recording of "Union Maid" -- and all sorts other songs by Woody Guthrie, many of which are directly labor related, like "1913 Massacre" and "Pastures of Plenty" -- is on the 1972 release "A Tribute to Woody Guthrie." It's a collection of performances from two live concerts raising money to pay Guthrie's medical bills and features a blockbuster collection of talent: Seeger, Dylan (with one hell of a backing band), Arlo Guthrie, Baez, Judy Collins, Odetta, and more.

Posted by: meander510 | February 18, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Si Kahn on what happens when the unions lose:

Posted by: pj_camp | February 18, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

--*when the unions lose*--

One wonders how many towns unions have killed.

Posted by: msoja | February 18, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

25 years working for (what used to be called) "the phone company". I know this song! Ezra you've made me cry.
I do hope these lyrics zoooom back into common use!

Posted by: penny4 | February 19, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Pete Seegar, eh?

Imagine that! A communist supporting unions!

Who would have thought?

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | February 21, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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