HALLELUJAH I’M A BUM
“Hallelujah, I’m a Bum” is an American folk song that responds with humorous sarcasm
to unhelpful moralizing about the circumstance of being a tramp. The song’s authorship is
uncertain, although it may have been composed in 1897 by Harry McClintock. Sung to
the tune of “Revive Us Again“, the song was printed by the Industrial Workers of the
World in 1908, and adopted by its Spokane branch as their anthem later that year. The
success of their free speech campaign of 1909 led to its widespread popularity.
Oh, why don’t I work like other men do?
How the hell can I work when the skies are so blue?
Hallelujah! I`m a bum, Hallelujah bum again,
Hallelujah! give us a handout and revive us again.
Oh, I love my boss and my boss loves me,
And that is the reason I’m so hungry.
Oh, the springtime has come and I’m just out of jail,
Without any money, without any bail
I went to a house and I knocked on the door;
A lady came out, says, `You been here before.`
I went to a house, and I asked for some bread;
A lady came out, says, `The baker is dead.`
When springtime does come, oh won’t we have fun,
We`ll throw up our jobs and we’ll go on the bum