Stand Together

Words and Melody: Bernard Carney 1996

This song was written in response to changes to West Australian Industrial Relations laws. It speaks of the strength of unions in the struggle for workers’ rights. It sends a powerful message when sung at picket lines and at rallies.

In his own words: “The song was written in August 96 during the second wave of changes to the West Australian Industrial relations laws and has been sung at all the union rallies since. It’s one of a series of songs written for the union campaign against the law changes and ended in the establishment of the Workers Embassy behind Parliament House in June 97 which exists today as Solidarity Park.”

Lyrics:

[chorus]
We will all stand together and sing a union song
We will all stand together and know that we belong
To the strength of the future in a common working bond
Stand together and sing a union song

1. There’s trouble fast approaching and the skies are overcast
But let us not lose sight of all the lessons of the past
The victories that were fought for in battles loud and long
By the millions who sang a union song

2. United we can bargain but divided we must fall
Injustice to the one will mean injustice to us all
But when we stand together the future will belong
To the millions who sing a union song

3. It was on the first of May that I heard the union say:
“Eight hours of decent working for eight hours of decent pay”
And we don’t forget the reasons we’re gathered here today
With the millions who sing a union song

Verse written by STUC [Mary Willcox] 2010
They call us miscellaneous we’re the workers you don’t see
We’re casual and we’re vulnerable, we’re faceless employees
But we’ll organise our workplace and build our union strong
So our children can sing a union song.

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