Music Monday: 10 Songs for Labor Day

In honor of road-tripping MoJo intern Tim Murphy’s stop in Woody Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, we’ve loaded up a player with five of Woody’s most labor-oriented songs and matched them with another five commie pinko classics, including Gene Autry’s version of “The Death of Mother Jones.” As you enjoy the end of summer this fine Monday check out Josh Harkinson’s dispatch from coal country, West Virginia, where the memory of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones lives on despite Massey Coal CEO Don Blankenship’s rampant villainy. Click the video thumbnails to listen to each song and don’t forget to ask yourself the necessary question: What Would Woody Do?


  • Woody Guthrie – Pastures of Plenty
  • Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee – John Henry
  • Woody Guthrie – Union Burying Ground
  • Woody Guthrie – Blowing Down that Road Feelin’ Bad
  • Woody Guthrie – Jesus Christ
  • Mississippi John Hurt- Spike Driver Blues
  • Quilapayun – El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido
  • Gene Autry – The Death of Mother Jones
  • Pete Seeger – Which Side Are You On?
  • Merle Haggard – Working Man’s Blues