Sea Green Singers - Bread and Roses - score and lyrics - click on image for A4 sheet printing
|BREAD AND ROSES - Words by James Oppenheim
1. all: As we come marching marching in the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.
2. sops + altos: As we come marching, marching, we battle
too for men
3. quietly men humming: As we come marching,
marching, unnumbered women dead
4. all: As we come marching, marching, we bring you hope at
The text below comes from: The Digital Tradition Folk
Song Database - downloaded direct from the Internet and Lift Every Voice!
Songbook - words in brackets are from here
Further information from www.shamash.org/jwa/rose.html - Rose Schneiderman - Jewish Women's History Week - March 2 - 9, 1997 - in The Jewish Women's Archive Web Site
"What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist... the worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too." - Rose Schneiderman
Eight-year-old Rose Schneiderman arrived in New York City from Poland in 1890 with her parents and three younger brothers. Five years later, after spending time in an orphanage when her poverty-stricken and recently widowed mother was unable to feed the family, Schneiderman quit school to support her mother and baby sister. Her first job in a department store demanded 64 hours of work for subsistence wages.
It was as a sewing machine operator that Schneiderman organized the first women's local of the Jewish socialist union, United Cloth, Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers. "All of a sudden . . . not lonely any more," Schneiderman had discovered "that poverty was not ordained . . . working people could help themselves." The energy and companionship that she found through union organizing fueled Schneiderman's leadership for the rest of her life, serving as the basis of the "family" of cross-class women activists who supported her throughout the years ahead.
Through her forty-five year involvement as a leader of the Women's Trade Union League, Schneiderman organized countless strikes, trained young leaders, helped negotiate labor disputes, and worked to establish continuing education programs for female workers. She was an extremely popular speaker who travelled throughout the country enlisting support for labor and women's suffrage. She ran for the United States Senate in 1920 and was the only woman appointed in Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration in 1933. Her influence, commitment and persistence were crucial in drafting and passing much of the legislation that has long been taken for granted by workers in the United States including: social security; worker's compensation; the elimination of child labor; maternity leave; safety laws; minimum wage; and unemployment insurance.