Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

     ~ John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660
It’s a labor holiday also, of course, and here’s a blues I found in my mother’s files, no date, but the West Coast Maritime Strike began in September 1946 (thank you, Wikipedia).
       MARITIME STRIKE BLUES by Malvina Reynolds
If you love me honey, don’t cross that picket line (repeat)
Lips that touch a boss’s foot will never touch mine.
Harry Truman sure loves the working class,
He can take his injunction and use it for a lifetime pass.
If you love me honey, meet me at the union hall,
I’ll see you there, or I won’t see you at all.
If you have to leave me, I won’t take it hard.
But when you come back baby, better show your picket card.
Warren loves the unions as much as he is able,
His tear gas and black jacks have a union label.
When the goons are gooning, the cops just wink their eye,
But when everything is quiet, the clubs begin to fly.
Notes: Earl Warren was Republican governor of California back then, the Supreme Court came later.
When Malvina wrote blues she often left it to the singer to make up the tune. I didn’t find any music for this one.
©2010 by Nancy Schimmel
Rachel in California
It's a temperance song, "The lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine."
Sheet music here:
Friday, May 21, 2010 - 06:22 AM
Maureen Barnato, my facebook friend, posts interesting old illustrations and posters, several for today, this one with the quote from Milton that follows, and the one below by Walter Crane, best known now as a children’s book illustrator. .
Saturday, May 1, 2010