Lest we forget what Labor Days is really about. (Most countries recognize Labor Day May 1.)

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

— U.S. Department of Labor

I often say, music sustains an active movement. When the music dies, guess what happens?….Here are a few of Labor’s greatest hits.

1978 ILGWU

Paul Robeson sings “Joe Hill” (composed 1936)

Modern students of music history have identified Hill as one the most influential protest artists in American history, an influence that can be heard in the work of songwriters as diverse as Woody Guthrie and John Lennon.

“I NEVER DIED. . .The Words, Music and Influence of Joe Hill By Mary Killebrew

Pete Seger’s “We Shall Not Be Moved” also found a home in the civil rights and anti-war movements

“Bread and Roses” was the rallying song of the 1912 Lawrence, MA textile strike, woven together with an anthem dedicated to the fighters in the Spanish Civil War. Performed by the Boston Workmen’s Circle A Besere Velt (A Better World) Yiddish Chorus