"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.
THE LUMBER JACK'S PRAYER
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,