The Death of Harry Simms

In the industrialized countries of the West trade unions have long since become part of the establishment. Their heroic times belong to the past. But in many developing countries the fight for union rights has only just begun. What we need in this globalized world are global trade unions who practice international solidarity. So this song is in memory of a heroic union organizer in the USA, Harry Simms, who was shot by gunmen in the pay of the coal owners during the coal miners‘ strike in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1932.
Harry Simms auf Wikipedia


The song was written by Aunt Molly Jackson and Jim Garland.

Come and listen to my story, come and listen to my song
I will tell you of a hero, who’s now dead and gone
I will tell you of a young boy, whose age was nineteen
He was the bravest union man, that I have ever seen

Harry Simms was a pal o‘ mine, we labored side by side
Expecting to be shot on sight, or taken for a ride
By them dirty cole operator gun thugs, that roamed from town to town
A-shooting down the union men, where e’er they may be found

Harry Simms was walkin‘ down the track, one bright sun-shiny day
He was a youth of courage, his step was light and gay
He did not know the gun thugs was hiding on the way
To kill our brave young comrade this bright sun-shiney day

Harry Simms was killed on Brush Creek, in nineteen thirty-two
He organized the miners, into the N.M.U.
He gave his life in struggle, that was all that he could do.
He died for the union, also for me and you.

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