The Hoffman Mine Song (poem)
THE HOFFMAN MINE SONG
ROBERT SIMPSON of Frostburg, Maryland, (1900)
We are asking one another as we pass the time of day,
Why men resort to strikes to gain their proper pay?
And why the labor unions now will not be recognized?
But the actions of the companies must not be criticized.
Then the men who fight for justice, none can blame them,
May luck attend wherever they may roam;
And no son of his shall ever live to shame him,
While liberty and honor rule his home.
Oh, the troubles there at Hoffman came about this way:
The grasping corporation had the audacity to say,
If you all deny the union and forswear your liberty,
We'll give you all a chance to live and die in slavery.
See that sturdy band of miners who made a stand that day,
With determination in their faces which surely went to say,
"No men shall drive us from our homes for which we've toiled so long,
"No men shall take our places, for here's where we belong."
A woman with a rifle, her husband in the crowd;
She handed him the weapon, they cheered her long and loud;
He kissed her and said, "Mary, you go home till we are through,"
But she answered, "No, if you're on strike, I'm going to stick to you."
Oh, the workmen there at Hoffman knew they were face to face
With a soulless corporation, and they knew it was their place
To protect their wives and daughters, and that they've nobly done;
And the angels will applaud them when a victory they have won.
This folk-song was discovered in a Scrapbook now in the possession of Valley High School, Lonaconing, Maryland. It was printed in a local newspaper. With the permission of Mr. Jack A. Petry, Principal.
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Editor: Felix G. Robinson