We Will Win (Song for Wisconsin)

My ancestors came to Wisconsin, they came here from the east
They believed the greatest person was no greater than the least
And this state it was founded on the grounds that we’re all free
And no one should ever suffer from the bonds of slavery
When the call went out from Kansas there were many volunteers
Who left their families in Wisconsin to free their shackled peers
They stood and fought together, and therein lay the key
They stood shoulder to shoulder, they were union folk like me

If in union we’re together
Raise our voice above the din
If in union we’re together
Then in union we will win

When the mill came to Milwaukee and it became a factory town
In 1886 they shut all the factories down
The demands were fairly simple, eventually they got their way
Fighting Bob Lafollette and the eight-hour day
They were massacred at Bay View, the blood that grew the seed
Of the socialist republic that had union as its creed
There were differences among them, good people disagree
But the core of their success was they were union folk like me


There are those who try to tell us, forget your history
You no longer need a say here, you don’t need your liberty
Let us make the decisions, you just do as you are told
Those who are fit to rule here are those who have the gold
But we’re here to tell the governor we’re not falling for that line
Workers only can have power when in union we combine
Workers’ voices also matter, generations here agree
The way to move is to move forward arm in arm in unity


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“We Will Win” appears on the Bandcamp album, Ten New Songs (2011).

I didn’t manage to make it to Wisconsin during the winter uprising against Governor Walker and his union-busting activities, but I wrote a song, anyway…