Centralia
©Linda Allen 1989

Wesley Everest was a Wobbly -- he fought the Wobbly fight
For better pay, the eight-hour day, a warm, dry bed at night
But townfolks called 'em Red and tried to chase 'em out of town
But Everest turned and killed a man, and they brought that Wobbly
down

Since nineteen-nineteen when he died, the Wobs still tell the tale
How the lights went out in town and how they dragged him from the jail
His tortured body hung that night from a place called Hangman's Bridge
And silence and a grave now mark the town's grim heritage

And we stood in a circle and remembered how he died
Though it happened many years ago, a few among us cried
And we wondered if his troubled soul still wandered this old town
On the day we sang Wes Everest down - let it be-
On the day we sang Wes Everest down

Wesley never had a funeral and his grave was lost for years
But seventy years later, we all gathered near
And we sang "Joe Hill" and "Casey Jones" and "Preacher and the Slave"
And someone read the Wob Preamble over Wesley's grave

The cold November rain came down like tears from unseen eyes
And a million fellow workers voices sang and harmonized
An injury to one has been an injury to all
Let honor mark his gravestone. Let justice be his pall CHORUS

Notes:
Washington's Birthday, November 11th, also happened to be the
anniversary of the Centralia Massacre of 1919. On this day, the
last of this project, I stood in the rain with a dozen others at
the grave of Wesley Everest, singing songs and remembering him.
Earl Robinson, composer of "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night"
was also there, having recently moved back to the Northwest. We
all sang "Solidarity Forever" and other songs of the I.W.W.