Item no. 28066
New York
Collection: Wagner Labor Archives

“Songs for America” includes American and world folk and fighting songs and was issued in 1939 by Workers Library Publishers, a branch of the Communist Party USA. The songbook reflects the developing interest in and use of traditional music for labor organizing and social protest, and in particular the influence of the American folk music revival. Note the ubiquitous red and black—the colors of radicalism—the old fashioned typeface, and the pastoral industrial scene at the top which mixes the stars (of the Stars and Stripes) with industrial smoke, patriotic references to earlier American history.

This image accompanies the audio recording of "Hold the Fort" and "We Shall Not Be Moved," 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 Samuelson, Songs for Political Action.

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View other items in the thematic set 1930s