Children of Ludlow
Part 2: Life in the Tents
The winter of 1913-1914 was especially cold and brutal. The strikers and their families survived as best they could in the tent colonies of southern Colorado, unable to return to their homes. Their movements were restricted by hired mercenaries and the Colorado National Guard.
The families relied on each other for support and created a semblance of community. But raids from the militia continued on both the miners and local ranchers who assisted them. In March the nearby Forbes tent colony was burned while it was unprotected, and in Ludlow tensions grew high as Greek Easter approached.
To maintain morale through the cold months in the tent colonies, they would sing union songs.
One of these was the Colorado Strike Song, written for this strike specifically. It was never recorded until it was performed by Coloradan singer John McCutcheon to commemorate the centennial of the massacre.
Listen to it on YouTube.
We are fighting for our rights, boys,
We are fighting for our homes,
Shouting the battle cry of union;
Men have died to win the struggle;
They've died to set us free,
Shouting the battle cry of union.
—Excerpt from the "Colorado Strike Song"
Page 3: The Massacre & Memories