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Words & music

 Ed Pickford © prs


Women raising hell – always ring my bell

I will tell you some I find inspiring

People called them red – some of them are dead

What they sang and said I’m still admiring

Girls like Florence Reece – she is now at peace

Which Side Are You On - her angry bounty

Florence wrote that song - 1931

For the mining men of Harlan County


Chorus:

Rebel girls, girls, girls - Rebel girls, girls, girls

Rebel girls, girls, girls and union maids

Rebel girls, girls, girls - Rebel girls, girls, girls

Rebel girls, girls, girls and union maids


Mary Harris Jones - protest in her bones

Prayed for dead & fought like hell for living

Fearless to the end - tireless workers’ friend

Raised some hell & never tired of giving

West Virginia Hills - children in the mills

Faced down all those thugs with clubs & guns

She inspired they say - song still sung today

Coming round the mountain when she comes



Chorus:


Hazel Dickens sung - songs about black lung

In her voice was West Virginia singing

High & lonesome sound - roots in mining ground

She made pain from words that keep on stinging

Fought for women’s rights - every lyric bites

‘Don’t You Put Her Down’ - ‘You’ll Get No More of Me’

“Pretty bird,” she’d say - “fly, oh, fly away”

Far from these black mountains and stay free


Chorus:


Molly Jackson swore - she would rob a store

When she saw the starving kids were crying

What she said came true - left an I.O.U.

She could raise some hell there’s no denying

Every union maid - never was afraid

Played a rebel tune while agitating

Never wore a frown - never bowed low-down

Got them politicians legislating



Chorus:




Rebel Girls & Union Maids Hazel Dickens  1925 - 2011

Florence Reece

1900 - 1986

Mary Harris Jones

1837 - 1930

Aunt Molly Jackson

1880 - 1960