Steel

 

Chapter 4 of Love and War includes: Piss Alley, Ten Years After, We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For, and Resolution Number Nine.

Piss Alley

Generations of steelworkers

Have relieved themselves in that hallway

Through its many open doors

Lies the pouring platform

 

When the molten stream won’t stop

We run laughing and cursing for the safety of piss alley

And don’t smell a thing...

Ten Years After

If you worked in a Midwestern factory in the mid-70s, the first Bad Company album burst on the scene with the force of Meet the Beatles or Stevie Wonder’s Music of My Mind. It was all over the radio, the singles like “Can’t Get Enough” dominated jukebox play in the bars, and if you still didn’t hear it, your friends would bring it over, pounding on the front door screaming, “Hey, you’ve got to hear this!”

 

Part of the phenomenon was the music--good songs fleshed out by Simon Kirke’s drumming, jack-hammer hard but still sloppily swinging; Mick Ralphs’ rhythmic guitar, some of the most purposeful ever found in hard rock grooves; and, above all, the voice of Paul Rodgers, the most soulful white rock & roll shouter ever...

We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For

Mill rat, hard hat

I used to pour steel down by the river

Working double shifts, having family rifts

Burnt skin

Meant the rent would be paid

 

I was standing in a ring of fire

When my fifteen minutes of fame came to call

 

I wrote a book on sports

Controversial

But not enough to end up in the courts

I had to work it

When I wasn’t working

Every time I got a day off

I was on a plane...

Resolution Number Nine

WHEREAS, the organized labor movement represented 33 per cent of American workers after World War Two and now represents only 20 percent

 

WHEREAS, the organized labor movement will never be able to effectively combat Reaganomics as long as tens of millions of workers remain outside the trade union fold

 

WHEREAS, it is primarily the lack of union organization in the South which allows for anti-labor Southern politicians to accumulate seniority in the House and the Senate, chair most of the major committees, and thereby play a key role in blocking legislation that would benefit working people...