BELT LINE GIRL (AGNES "SIS" CUNNINGHAM)
TUNE: "DANVILLE GIRL"


THE ALMANAC SINGERS, 1942: BESS HAWES, PETE SEEGER, MILLARD LAMPELL, WOODY GUTHRIE, ARTHUR STERN, SIS CUNNINGHAM (left to right)

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Sung to the tune of "Danville Girl," Cunningham's "Belt Line Girl" offered solace to all the "Rosie the Riveters" working in America's defense plants.
Ronald D. Cohen & Dave Samuelson, liner notes for "Songs for Political Action," Bear Family Records BCD 15720 JL, 1996, p. 96.

Lyrics as recorded by THE ALMANAC SINGERS, New York, NY, c. Feb 1942, and reprinted ibid., p. 104.

ORIGINAL ISSUE: "DEAR MR. PRESIDENT," Keynote K-305-B (KEYNOTE ALBUM 111), 1942.
[AGNES "SIS" CUNNINGHAM, solo vocal]

I stood on the station platform
And looked at the lonesome track.
The train had gone around the curve
The train that might never come back
For it carried my soldier sweetheart away
The one I loved so true.
My heart was sad, but I did not weep
I thought of the work to do.

Joe had gone to the fighting front
And he left his job behind
Now I must step into his place
On the long assembly line.
I said I'll learn to build a ship
I'll learn to build a plane
For the faster we speed this belt line, girls,
The quicker our boys return.

If you think that danger is far away
And cannot reach our shore
Go ask the wives of MacArthur's men,
They'll tell you about this war.
Go ask the widows of the Pearl Harbor boys
Our heroines brave and fine
You'll find them at work in the training schools
And on the assembly line.

If a thousand men leave a thousand jobs
To go and fight the foe,
Our factory wheels would slacken their speed
And the belts would move too slow.
But when a thousand hard working girls
Step in and take a hand
Out roll the tanks and the planes and guns
And there's freedom in the land.

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