FREEDOM TRAINlyrics and music by Len Wallace
(recorded on the album CULTURE SHOCKed)
- song written for the 50th anniversary of the 1935 On to Ottawa Trek
I remember many years ago a hunger held the land
I saw good folk lose their farm and home to the banker's greedy hand.
Saw jobless men get shoved around and live on bended knee.
I saw mothers beg for a pound of bread their hungry kids to feed.
I was a just a kid on the B.C. coast wasting life away
slaving for thugs in Bennett's camps for twenty cents a day,
So I hitched ride for Ottawa with a thousand angry men
Riding that freedom train I swore I'd never be a slave again.
We all said we would Hold the Fort and raised our voices high
And joined our hands in union strong to battle or to die.
A squeezebox played the melody so everyone could hear
And together we all sang loud and clear.
I rode that shaking boxcar roof under frozen mountain skies,
Thru smokey tunnels, prairie wheat and dust that burned my eyes
I met the folksalong the way who shared and fed us well.
"Here's a sandwich son", they'd pass along,
"Be sure you give 'em hell!"
Now, Bennett's spies who bought the lies said they'd haul us from that train
"We'll teach those Reds a lessons they'll not forget again!"
On Regina streets they hit us with their bats, batons and guns
And we hid front the blows of the blueshirt goons who forced us on the run.
Well, many a year has passed and gone since the "On to Ottawa Ride"
And many a battle lost and won Since 1935.
I've learned the lessons well, my friends and a rebel l remain.
May we all hold the fort like the ones who rode that freedom train.
May we all say we will hold the fort
And raise our voices high
And join our hands in union strong to battle or to die
Let a squeezebox play the melody so everyone can hear
And together we will sing loud and clear
(last refrain - "Hold the Fort"):
"Hold the Fort for we are coming union hearts be strong
Side by side we'll battle onward Victory will come.
Hold the Fort for we are coming union hearts be strong
Side by side we'll battle onward Victory will come
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