21 July

'Eight hours for work, Eight hours for rest; Eight hours for what we will'

July 21, 2009 · 1 min read

Today in 1878, the song Eight Hours was first published by the Industrial Workers of the World, the Wobblies. Written by the Reverend Jesse H Jones (music) and I G Blanchard (lyrics), it became the most popular labour song for the next 37 years. In case you’re wondering, it was overtaken by Solidarity Forever in 1915.

We mean to make things over, we are tired of toil for naught,

With but bare enough to live upon, and never an hour for thought;

We want to feel the sunshine, and we want to smell the flowers,

We are sure that God has will’d it, and we mean to have eight hours.

We’re summoning our forces from the shipyard, shop, and mill:

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!

The Fireside Book of Favourite American Songs, edited by Margaret Bradford Boni, Simon and Shuster, New York, 1952



The global networks of neofascism

Phil Hearse explores the worldwide allegiances which bind rising fascist movements across the world into a coordinated force.

‘We are confronted by the threat of civil war’

Edgardo Lander talks to Red Pepper about the mounting tensions in Venezuela

Gilets Jaunes and the security state

Olly Haynes reports on the violent crackdown on protesters on the streets of France


Criminalising political opposition in Catalonia

Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte explain why the political trials this week only reveal the tip of the iceberg.

The age of environmental breakdown

There is only a small window of opportunity to prevent further catastrophic change, writes Lesley Rankin.

Zero-tariff Brexit: Another step towards Singapore-on-Thames?

Liam Fox's Brexit plans are a continuation of Thatcher's plans to decimate industry and agriculture, writes Nick Dearden