3 Responses to Music & Social Change

  1. Cynthia Lawrence says:

    I am from Massachusetts and lived close to textile area of Lawrence and Lowell – where the Bread and Roses War took place. My mother remembers from experience, the times of this war. She was eleven years old at the time and frequently made the trip from Andover to Lawrence to shop and pay bills with her mother.
    The “war” broke out when the young women who were exploited in the textile mills in Lawrence went on strike for better working conditions and more humane treatment by the mill owners. Most of these young women lived in dormatory-style housing and were made to live by rules set up to control their activities in the community and to curtail their social interactions. They were compelled to attend church – the church chosen by the mill owners, in their very limited freetime.
    The attrocities of work life included the use of small children to remove machine jams. Children lost life and limb in this objectionable process. The women had had enough!

  2. Cynthia Lawrence says:

    Marilyn, It says in “Rise Up Singing” that the words are by James Oppenheim and music is by Catherine Kohosleet and Mimi Farina. It mentions two other songs: “Carry it On”, and “Here’s to the Women”. I know “Carry it On” but not the other one. There is no mention of John Denver – Judy Collins may have made the song famous when she recorded. Cynthia

  3. Thanks for pointing that out. I researched a little online and what I find is that Catherine Kohsleet wrote an earlier version (and there were other versions, see http://labornotes.org/node/679
    and http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=87952 . They must have gotten it wrong about Denver as the more recent version that Judy Collins recorded has Mimi Farina’s music, from what I can tell. Mimi founded an organization called Bread & Roses, which is dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free, live, quality shows to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. http://www.breadandroses.org/about/mimi-farina .
    Wikipedia talks about the Bread & Roses strike in Lawrence, MA too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_Roses. They list dozens of uses of the phrase.

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