“We want more schoolhouses and less jails,
More books and less arsenals,
More learning and less vice,
More constant work and less crime,
More leisure and less greed,
More justice and less revenge.”
1893 Samuel Gompers, President, American Federation of Labor
* * *
We want to feel the sunshine
and we want to smell the flowers.
We are sure that God has willed it
and we mean to have eight hours.
We’re summoning our forces
from the shipyards, shop and mill.
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
and eight hours for what we will.
The Eight Hour Day Song
First published by the the ‘Labor Standard’ in Patterson N.J.
* * *
My Will is easy to decide
For there is nothing to divide.
My kin don’t need to fuss and moan.
“Moss does not cling to rolling stone.”
My body?—Oh!—If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow.
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
This is my Last and Final Will—
Good Luck to All of you,