N E W   D E A L   N E T W O R K



The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

Home  |   Project Information  |   Resources
Archive:  Year   |   Author/Artist  |   Subject


Strike

Richard Wincor, '37

The Magpie, June 1937, v. 21, n. 2, p. 63.

A Dramatic Poem

(Orkney Slobchik, a wealthy capitalist,
is coming in for his breakfast.)

Slobchik
A capitalist am I, forsooth,
Exploiting labor without ruth.
The sweetest pork, the rarest wine,
Rolls-Royce, yacht, all these are mine.
I positively get a thrill
From sweating children in the mill,
And now I shall partake with zeal
Of workers' blood, my favorite meal.
Where's m' breakfast?

Butler (rushing in)
Master! In the court below
Crowds of wrathful workmen go!
Swarms of vulgar hoi-polloi,
And are they getting angry? Oy!
Fools! The thing to cure their ills
Is Carter's Little Liver Pills. (advt.)
And here comes one of the ugly crowd,
To state their claims in baritone loud.

(Enter Brushmeoff, a Communist.)

Brushmeoff
I'm as mean a one as you'll ever see.
I put crumbs in the governor's tea!
The soapbox was my first locale,
My primer was Das Kapital.
Now, see, your workmen, starving, sick;
(Say, how do you keep your hair so slick?)
With empty pots and wages small
I wonder they manage to live at all.
I'll call one man up, that you may hear
How deep are his ignorance, hatred, and fear.

(He calls from the window, and Mullin a workman, enters.)

Brushmeoff
Now tell me, comrade, I want to know
Who is the head of the C.I.O.?

Mullin
Peter Rabbitt. Don't fire me, boss.

Brushmeoff
You see? And you are entirely to blame.
Now I shall state the strikers' claim.
Boys!

Chorus (from below)
Let's give Brushmeoff our applause,
The champion of the workers' cause.
State our claims!

Slobchik
Well, what do you want?

Brushmeoff
Well, what have you got?

Chorus
We want what you got,
And that's a lot.

Slobchik
I love you boys with all my heart.
My wife will give you each a tart,
And if you'll go back to work anew
Tomorrow there will be muffins, too!

Chorus
Oh joy, the strike is o'er,
We're back to work for evermore!

Grand Chorus
(in which everyone, including the butler, joins)
Now let the spheres resound with joy;
For Slobchik and the men in his employ

Are friends, not foes; and capital and labor
At last will act as friend and neighbor.
No longer strikes the peace will mar,
Nor Slobchik union workmen bar.
The workman is no more a runt.
He's part of a united front.

(Slobchik and Brushmeoff shake hands, and the workmen cheer.)


The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

Archive:  Year   |   Author/Artist  |   Subject
Home  |   Project Information  |   Resources