Today’s Music Monday post features a song that was written in Harlan County, Kentucky but has been performed around the world, including by miners and musicians supporting the 1984 national miners’ strike in the UK. Florence Reese wrote Which Side Are You On in 1931 after mine guards raided her house searching for her husband, who was a coal miner and union organizer. In 1984, British Musician Billy Bragg recorded the song in support of the national coal strike. Which Side Are You On continues to be sung by people organizing around social justice issues today. Scroll down to listen to compare Florence Reese’s original version with Billy Bragg’s more recent recording.
Which Side Are You On by Florence Reese
Which Side Are You On by Billy Bragg