My son's gift to me.
Joe Hill: There is Power in a Union That's a pow'r, that's a pow'rThat must rule in every land—One Industrial Union Grand.Woke up singing this yesterday. Could have something to do w/ learning the day before that an early mentor had died.Casper John Alessi, Jr. recruited me to the old Socialist Party in 1971. He had come down to Gary from Chicago because AFL-CIO was fighting-off a primary challenge to my Congressman who was poised to take over the House Rules Cmte...1st Northern liberal to have that position in decades.Casper shared "Little Red Songbook" w/ me & to guys who'd just returned from Vietnam.Q: What book, movie or song has had the biggest impact on your life? https://www.wbur.org/news/2018/08/23/third-congressional-district-candidate-questionnaireBallinger: As a labor activist in my late-teens, I was given a copy of the "Little Red Songbook," first published by the Industrial Workers of the World. I recall singing the songs in the evenings at labor events and campaigns.America has had a very violent labor history, but not all the songs were about bloodshed, of course.There were also good, rollicking songs that were quite lighthearted. It was a bonding experience that I will never forget and made my activism seem a bit more romantic by linking to a radical past. My sons remember me singing "Long-haired Preachers"!