"The Lumberjack's Prayer" is illustrative of the non-deferential tone of a starved, beaten, and weary working class that the IWW was intended to represent. In his usual sarcastic wit, T-Bone Slim gives notice that the workers can no longer be expected to place their faith in acts of divine intervention in the hope of averting starvation. The earth, notes Slim, contains enough resources for all, and if the working class is not receiving it's fair share, it is not according to the will of any god, but due to the actions of greedy capitalists. Thus, it is up to the workers, themselves, to take direct control of their predicament, and organize to take possession of the things that are rightfully theirs.


By T-Bone Slim

I pray dear Lord for Jesus' sake,
Give us this day a T-Bone Steak,
Hallowed be thy Holy name,
But don't forget to send the same.

Oh, hear my humble cry, Oh Lord,
And send us down some decent board,
Brown gravy and some German fried,
With sliced tomatoes on the side.

Observe me on my bended legs,
I'm asking you for Ham and Eggs,
And if thou havest custard pies,
I like, dear Lord, the largest size.

Oh, hear my cry, All Mighty Host,
I quite forgot the Quail on Toast,
-Let your kindly heart be stirred,
And stuff some oysters in that bird.

Dear Lord, we know your Holy wish,
On Friday we must have a fish,
Our flesh is weak and spirit stale,
You better make that fish a whale.

Oh, hear me Lord, remove these "Dogs,"
These sausages of powder'd logs,
Your bull beef hash and bearded Snouts.
Take them to hell or thereabouts.

With Alum bread and Pressed-Beef butts,
Dear Lord you damn near ruin'd my guts,
Your white-wash milk and Oleorine,
I wish to Christ I'd never seen.

Oh, hear me Lord, I am praying still,
But if you won't, our union will,
Put pork chops on the bill of fare,
And starve no workers anywhere.

Answer to the prayer:

I am happy to say this prayer has been answered- by the "old man" himself. He tells me He has furnished-plenty for all-and that if I am not getting mine it's because I am not organized SUFFICIENTLY strong to force the master to loosen up.

He tells me he has no knowledge on Dogs, Pressed-Beef Butts, etc., and that they probably are products of the Devil. He further informs me the Capitalists are children of Hisn-and that He absolutely refuses to participate in any children's squabbles. He believes in letting us fight it out along the lines of Industrial Unionism.

Yours in faith, T-BONE SLIM.


© Copyright Labor Arts Inc.