Item no. 28050
|Collection: Wagner Labor Archives|
This song by the Almanac Singers from 1942 speaks to divisions within the labor movement and the Left over organizing in war-related industries during World War II. In "Mister Hutcheson, Dubinsky and Woll," the Almanacs take on three prominent American labor leaders—William Hutcheson, head of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and AFL vice president Matthew Woll.
The three are depicted graphically as aged children attacking a younger, physically stronger worker, stoically defending the product of his labor, a piece of munitions, which resembles a football. The lyrics accuse the leaders of aiding the enemy and draw a direct relationship between labor and control of production at home and victory. Lyrically and musically it is like many of the Almanacs' songs, both topical and traditional, with an opening line drawn directly from the folk tradition—“Come all you kind friends and I”ll tell you a tale…”
This image accompanies the audio recording of "Boomtown Bill," two of twenty songs you can listen to in the exhibit Labor Sings! Songs from the 1930s and 1940s, featuring highlights from the extraordinary compact disc collection by Ron Cohen and Dave Samualson, Songs for Political Action.