I like to sing and play the banjo although I’m not particularly talented. But you know what? Who the fuck cares! I believe that music should be a participatory and shared celebration of life. I love Pete Seeger’s idea that everyone should raise their voices and sing. These old union songs are music for the people and they should be sung BY the people! There are living testaments of the struggles and joys of the life.
So here is my version (no banjo) of Rebel Girl, with mistakes (cause the language is a bit dated and I started to laugh!!). Joe Hill wrote it for his dear activist friend Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in 1915. Apparently she hated it! Oh well. I like it. Hazel Dickens version was updated in the 1970s but I am singing the old version.
Here are the lyrics. Sing with me.