Maria packed a careful lunch.
She packed the cheese and bread
And how she wished there could be meat
So Louis was well-fed!
But meat was scarce for it was now
Four weeks since he was paid,
Though it was just a little worse
With wages Louis made.
And once again she checked in vain
The nearly empty shelf--
And then she grabbed the bit of cheese
That she'd saved for herself.
She thrust the wedge into the sack.
She hoped it was enough.
She knew that on the picket line
Conditions could be tough.
And then she woke him for she knew
His union friends would meet
Down at the hall and they'd all
Go walking down the street.
A few of them would tote the flag
And more would join in song.
They'd stick together and they'd see
The strike through, short or long.
Maria was a loving wife,
Louis was brave and true
And of six children two had lived,
Their ages five and two.
Poor Michael was a frail boy
But how he loved his dad!
So poor were they that fam'ly was
The only thing they had.
And Carmela had polio
But glory, what a smile!
And Louis knew no greater joy
Than holding her a while.
And all the neighbors would remark
The child seemed alive
And almost well when she would see
That Louis had arrived.
Well, on that cold November morn',
Before the sun could rise,
Brave Louis gave his wife a hug
And the usual good-byes.
And as he looked in on the kids
A soldier at the mine
Set up a rapid fire gun
Along the company line.
The soldier had been trained for war.
He planned the fields of fire.
He set the two machine guns so
They'd crisscross at the wire.
One squad was dispatched to the hole
So that they could keep tabs
On the riffraff in the mine,
The lousy, dirty scabs.
The other squad the gate would man,
Their rifles carefully aimed
To finish any strikers that
Machine guns only maimed.
Louis thanked Maria for
The lunch that she had made.
Like every other day, he told her
Not to be afraid
'Cause there'd be Frank and Vincenzo,
And Silvio and Ben,
And by the time they reached the wire
There'd be five hundred men.
Maria heard him close the door.
She brushed aside the fear.
But as she picked Carmela up
She couldn't suppress a tear.
She did not trust the company--
She'd seen the awful greed;
She knew the bloody end to which
Their avarice could lead.
And it was later on that morn'
That Silvio came around.
He cried, "Maria, Maria!
" The soldiers cut him down!"