Pete Seeger, “Which Side Are You On”

Song of the Day: Pete Seeger, “Which Side Are You On”

By Nels Thoreson on 3/5/11 12:34am


Today’s “Song of the Day” comes from folk legend, Pete Seeger with his protest song, “Which Side Are You On.”  Pete Seeger has been singing about union rights since the 1940’s and was recently interviewed by the Associated Press about the current situation in Wisconsin.  The 91-year-old Seeger said through the AP, “Maybe the Republican governor, he’s done us a favor by bringing the problem to national attention.  It shows the whole country how much we need unions. We may end up thanking him.”  He went on to say, “”Without collective bargain  we’d be right back to primitive times.  The average American, I think, looks upon unions as a standard way of doing business. Just like you pay rent, you pay taxes, you also get paid a decent wage because of unions. It’s not because of the generosity of the employer.”

This song goes out to all the state employees of Wisconsin and all those supporting them.  Your will and strength are inspiring, and standing up for what is right and just is always a noble cause.  Seeger, too, was heartened by the Wisconsin protesters, saying, “It shows me that Americans are still Americans.  You don’t become an American by saluting at the right time or singing the national anthem at the right time. You become an American by using the rights which the Constitution gave us.”

Lyrics always catch my ear, and the song, “Which Side Are You On,” has this verse:

“Come all you good workers
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?

My daddy was a miner
He’s now in the air and sun
He’ll be with you fellow workers
Until the battle’s won…”   (Thank you to Nels Thoreson for permission to reprint this.)



  1. A creative genius, activist, and a saint because of his activism and sacrifices.
    We should remember how he was blacklisted, and went to jail for his causes.

  2. Mazel Linowitz said

    My family and I have been devotees of Petes since the Weaver days. More good years to one outstanding human being!

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