Merry Christmas to All, and No More Idled Hands


Image:ornament 2013

Unemployed workers in front of a shack with Christmas tree, East 12th Street, New York City, 1938 Jan, LC-USF33- 011402-M4


A commemorative ornament based on the image that inspired the song… Buy at Zazzle.


It’s a hell of a thing, coming up on Christmas

To look at the factory, dusted with snow

The path to the gates, unmarked by footprints–

‘Cause the line’s sitting idle, a second year in a row

Now the Macy’s downtown needed a Santa

Leaving 99 fellas cold on that hiring line

My holiday greeting’s the same the  last year:

“Merry Christmas my brother, can you spare a dime”

“Merry Christmas my brother, can you spare a dime”

And boys without gloves are fogging the window

Staring at toys their mommas can’t buy

While their daddies kill time out down the corner—

Hands in their pockets, shame in their eyes

Hands in their pockets and shame in their eyes

Now each home with stockings hung with care from the shelf

Where it’s a foreclosing banker, not some jolly old elf

Who’ll come calling this Christmas, and finding them there

Like a leech or a locust would strip the hearth bare

Where bankers and bosses, or some great corporate chief

Doomed another poor family to scrape by on relief—

And where each vision of sugarplums that dance in the head

Is there ‘cause a child’s gone hungry to bed

Are why to pray for a sleigh that could fly through the snow–

With a big bag of justice for the people below

And to take the occasion of this Silent Night

To call out what’s wrong, and then set it right—

If we want peace earth and goodwill among men

We’d see to it no child goes hungry again

And make not Christmas Wishes, but Christmas demands:

“Merry Christmas to all, and no more idled hands”

“Merry Christmas to all, and no more idled hands”

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