Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister

Words by Jim Garland, melody from the traditional "East Virginia"
Written by Jim Garland for the Almanac Singers (Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Millard Lampell + a bunch of others at different times, including Cisco Houston, Bess Lomax Hawes, Sis Cunningham, Josh White and Sam Gary)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Rich and Poor, p.182

Chours and verses are the same chords and tune:
D - / G D / G D / A D

I don't want your millions, mister
I don't want your diamond ring
All I want is the right to live mister
Give me back my job again [or: Give to me a job again]

I don't want your Rolls Royce, Mister
I don't want your pleasure yacht
All I want is food for my babies
Give to me my old job back

I know you have the land deed, Mister
The money is all in your name
But where's the work that you did, Mister?
I'm demanding back my job again

We worked to build this country, Mister
While you enjoyed a life of ease
You've stolen all that we've built, Mister
Now our children starve and freeze

Think me dumb if you wish, Mister
Call me green or blue or red
There's just one thing I sure know, Mister
My hungry babies must be fed

Take the two old parties, Mister
No difference in them I can see
But with a Farmer-Labor Party
We could set the people free
[or: We will set the workers free]

[by Peter Blood]
You never earned those millions, Mister
They were produced by working hands
We're taking back our own wealth, Mister
Winning back our lives and lands


  1. This song is right on time (even though its "ancient"). :) Thanks for posting the lyrics.

  2. Can you tell me what the song means phrase by phrase?