New Internationalist

The banks are made of marble

Issue 392

I’ve travelled round this country
From shore to shining shore.
It really made me wonder
The things I heard and saw.

I saw the weary farmer,
Ploughing sod and loam;
I heard the auction hammer
A-knocking down his home.

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the farmer sweated for.

I saw the seaman standing
Idly by the shore.
I heard the bosses saying:
‘Got no work for you no more’.

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the seaman sweated for.
I saw the weary miner,
Scrubbing coal dust from his back;
I heard his children cryin’:
’Got no coal to heat the shack’.

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door,
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the miner sweated for.

I’ve seen my brothers working
Throughout this mighty land;
I prayed we’d get together,
And together make a stand.

Then we’d own those banks of marble
With a guard at every door;
And we’d share those vaults of silver
That we have sweated for.

Words and Music by Les Rice
Sung by Pete Seeger, photograhed here by Christopher Felver.

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This article was originally published in issue 392

New Internationalist Magazine issue 392
Issue 392

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