Which Side Are You On? – Union Song (1941)

This is a 1941 recording of “Which Side Are You On?”, performed by the Almanac Singers.

“Which Side Are You On?” was written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of a union organizer for the United Mine Workers(UMW) in Harlan County, Kentucky.

In 1931, the miners and the mine owners of that region were locked in a violent struggle (Harlan County War). In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered their family home in search of Florence’s husband. Florence and their children were terrorized by the experience.

That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to “Which Side Are You On?”

The melody was adapted from a traditional Baptist hymn, “Lay the Lily Low”.

What We Don’t Know About Europe’s Muslim Kids and Why We Should Care | Deeyah Khan | TEDxExeter

Aged 17, Deeyah fled from Norway confused, lost and torn between cultures. Unlike some young Muslims she picked up a camera instead of a gun. She now uses her camera (and her superpower) to shed light on the clash of cultures between Muslim parents who prioritise honour and their children’s desire for freedom. She argues that we need to understand what is happening to fight the pull to extremism.

Video Production Chromatrope (http://chromatrope.co.uk/)
Production Manager Andy Robertson (http://www.youtube.com/familygamertv)

Deeyah Khan is a critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director. Her work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. Her skill as a multidisciplinary artist led her to film and music as the language for her social activism. Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, the experience of living between different cultures, both the challenges and the beauty, dominates her artistic vision.

Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod. Her second film the Bafta-nominated Jihad involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis.

Deeyah is the founder of social purpose arts and media production company, Fuuse which works to create intercultural dialogue and understanding by confronting the most complex and controversial topics, and sharing alternative views and excluded voices.