Why sing ‘Solidarity Forever’?

maydayrally1

If you had the opportunity to attend the annual May Day Rally, you would have heard and seen the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues together with unionists sing the song ‘Solidarity Forever’.

Source: Alvinology.com

A bit cheesy I know, but I heard it’s been going on for years. The song has long been related to the union movement in many countries. And if you are fan of a particular football club, you would probably be wondering why the song sounds familiar…

But the NTUC’s version has a different set of lyrics from the original song by American Labour activist Ralph Chaplin who wrote the song in 1915.

American version

When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run,

There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;

Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,

But the union makes us strong.

CHORUS:

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

For the union makes us strong.

 

NTUC’s version

Hold your hands together show our solidarity,

All of us united work for peace and harmony,

Strive for excellence and better life for you and me,

With a strong NTUC.

CHORUS:

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

Solidarity forever,

With a strong NTUC.

The song reaffirms the NTUC’s commitment to help workers and to strive for excellence and a better life for them. Seeing the Prime Minister and unionists singing hand-in-hand also reaffirms the commitment to Tripartism.

Besides this famous tune, unions in other countries also use songs and anthems to rally their workers.

Here’s one from the United Kingdom:

What other union anthems have you heard before?

Oh by the way, the tune for ‘Solidarity Forever’ has been used for a nursery rhyme before too! :)

 

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Arthur Lee

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