Joe Jencks

Houdaille

from The Forgotten

Come all you working people who make the world go ‘round

Have you heard about the Houdaille plant and how we stood our ground

We took their factory over ‘til at last we won our fight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

It was early in the morning when we shut the presses down

The silence was so sudden you could hear it in the town

Our neighbors all came running and stood wondering at the sight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

Of course when we took over there were things to re-arrange

We put a sign out front that said the management had changed

We’d done the work in here so long, we knew we’d run it right

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

There’s dart boards in the stamping room and children on the floor

In all your years at Houdaille have you felt so strong before

The presses all stand silent, not a single boss in sight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

When I went to work at Houdaille it was just before the war

They put me on the “kids’ line” with a couple dozen more

One hundred thousand bumpers, God knows I’ve paid the price

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

With some good friends from the factory I went away to war

When I got back the bosses were no better than before

Well, if we didn’t change the world we sure learned how to fight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

So we organized together and we passed the cards around

They said they’d never talk to us, so we shut the damn place down

We made them sign a contract and we held them to it tight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

When they said the plant was closing, it took us by surprise

We were bitter, scared and angry, you could see it in our eyes

We talked for hours and hours ‘til we knew just what was right

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

You know it’s never easy to stand up by yourself

And courage comes much quicker when it’s shared with someone else

We’d shared so much together it was easier to fight

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

When they closed the plant they tried to make the workers take the loss

But we really stuck together and we stuck it to the boss

With severance pay and pensions, now it’s gonna’ turn out right

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

There’s those of us who do the work that makes the world go ‘round

There’s others who will buy a plant just to shut it down

But it’s only hands that feed you that get close enough to bite

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

Come all you working people who make the world go ‘round

Your hands are on the switches that can shut the whole place down

Your hands are on the levers that can change these wrongs to rights

Don’t wait up for me my love, we’re sitting in tonight

© Si Kahn, Joe Hill Music ASCAP

updated: 8 months ago