Culture

Poetry Corner: The Rebel Girl

Elizabeth HaldaneOn this day, 27th May, in 1862 Elizabeth Haldane, the Scottish social reformer and author, was born in Edinburgh. She was born into a notable family, her relatives including Robert and James Haldane, the noted evangelists, and her brothers, physiologist, John Scott Haldane, and politician, Richard Burdon Haldane, Viscount Haldane of Cloan.

After working in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh she served on various regulatory and advisory boards related to nursing. Haldane was also keenly interested in the improvement of housing conditions, founding an organisation to redevelop some of Edinburgh’s worst slums.

She was a noted author and translator, writing a Life of Descartes and editing his philosophical works. She translated Hegel, and wrote on both George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell. In 1920, Haldane was appointed the first female Justice of the Peace in Scotland. Scotclans


The Rebel Girl by Joe Hill (1915)

There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows,
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
And are wearing the finest of clothes
There are blue blooded queens and princesses
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl;
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
CHORUS:
To the working class she’s a precious pearl.
She brings courage, pride and joy
To the fighting Rebel Boy.
We’ve had girls before, but we need some more
In the Industrial Workers of the World.
For it’s great to fight for freedom
With a Rebel Girl.

Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she’ll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl

(CHORUS)


 

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