Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

Field Workers Song

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1975 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2003.

Oh the grapes on the vine,
They are heavy and they shine,
What a bounty of sweetness they yield!
But they never would appear
To bring their comfort here
If it weren't for the workers in the field.

The grower is a rich man,
His house is large and fine,
You think he makes his money
From the grapes on the vine.
But he coins it from the bodies
Of the workers every one
Who plant the crop and tend to it,
Hoe it and bend to it,
Under the burning sun.

You pass on the road
And wonder at the load
Of braceros who work for little pay,
But you never will know
The row after row,
And the ache and the heat and the spray.


Your platters are filled
From the fields we have tilled,
And the fruit and the salads are fine,
But the lives of the workers
Are pressed into gold
Like the grapes are pressed into wine.


Our harsh, scattered lives
Were hard to organize
As we followed the crops year by year,
But the growers have to yield
To the workers in the field
Since United Farm Workers is here.

Last Chorus:
The grower is a rich man,
He can buy and sell
The teamsters and the deputies,
The newspapers as well.
But he cannot buy our union
It's just no use to try.
We've fought this fight so long and hard
Victory is our reward
And "Viva la causa!" is our cry.
Viva la causa!

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
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Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
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