Happy Friday, comrades! Today’s Dying Scene Exclusive is not only timely, but it’s for a song and a cause that are near and dear to my heart.
We’re fired up to bring you Boston’s Already Dead doing their take on an old classic. The song is called “Bread And Roses”, and in its original format, it’s a 100+ year old hymn and poem dedicated to the women and children striking for better working conditions in the old mill city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Eugene Debs himself referred to the “Bread & Roses Strike” as “the most decisive and far-reaching ever won by organized labor” at the time. This version is Already Dead’s punked up version, which is especially fitting given the band’s roots in Massachusetts’ blue collar trade unions. Here’s what Dan Cummings, who’s not only Already Dead’s vocalist and guitarist but is also a union pipefitter, had to say:
“It aligns with what I hope Already Dead projects as an ethos. And that’s standing up for yourself and for your fellow people and to fight for what is fair. In my opinion, there is evidence of that in all class struggles.”
I know that I tend to go a little heavy on promoting bands from the Boston area, but this one is especially cool to have a part in premiering because I spent close to a decade working in downtown Lawrence, give-or-take a hundred yards or so from the Washington Mill, which was the epicenter of the Bread & Roses strike, so I know the area and the story and the people and the cause very well. And oh-by-the-way, if you’re in New England anyway, you can catch Already Dead at this year’s annual Bread & Roses festival in Lawrence on Labor Day, September 4, alongside fest director and collaborator Felipe Collazo (who also appears on the track).