The defiant power of song

Tie a rock on your block," the radical union members sang fiercely, at meetings, at street rallies, on picket lines. "And then jump in the lake, kindly do that for Liberty's sake!"

The scornful "Mr. Block" lyrics were written by Joe Hill, a Swedish immigrant who worked as a laborer around the West and became a famed songwriter for the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies.

The union's "songs to fan the flames of discontent," published in its iconic Little Red Songbook, empowered workers from cultures around the globe, giving them a defiant unified voice for protest, for fellowship and for propaganda.

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