Top 12 May Day Songs

Top 12 May Day Songs

In tribute to all those planning actions for May Day.


For more than 150 years, May 1 has been an international day to celebrate and defend the rights of the working class. Here’s my stab at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people—a playlist for May Day.

1. Florence Reece, “Which Side Are You On?”

2. Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Sixteen Tons”

3. Billy Bragg, “There Is Power in a Union”

 4. Dolly Parton, “Working 9 to 5”

5. Sweet Honey in the Rock, More Than a Paycheck

6. Pete Seeger, “Solidarity Forever”

7. Hazel Dickens, “Fire in the Hole”

8. Loretta Lynn, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

9. Gil Scott-Heron, “Three Miles Down”

10. The Clash, “Clampdown”

11. Woody Guthrie, “Union Burying Ground”

12. Paul Robeson, “Joe Hill”

Ad Policy