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This is the most famous song by Ella May Wiggins, a North Carolina mill worker and balladeer, who was shot and killed September 14, 1929 during the Gastonia Loray Mill strike. Her killers were never punished.

Mill Mother's Lament

We leave our home in the morning
We kiss our children goodbye
While we slave for the bosses
Our children scream and cry.

And when we draw our money
Our grocer's bills to pay
Not a cent to keep for clothing
Not a cent to lay away.

And on that very evening
Our little ones will say
I need some shoes, dear mother
And so does sister May.

Now it grieves the heart of a mother
You everyone must know
We cannot buy for our children
Our wages are too low.

Now listen to the workers
Both women and you men
Let's win for them the victory
I'm sure twill be no sin.

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