"Without labor nothing prospers." --Sophocles
More about the Eight Hour Movement here. And tons more here.
Enjoy your holiday weekend -- then back to work we go!
It has filled the world with plenty, it shall fill the world with light;
Hurrah, hurrah, for Labor! it is mustering all its powers,
And shall march along to victory with the banner of Eight Hours!
Shout, shout the echoing rally till all the welkin thrill,
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!"
Like many causes, the movement had a culture of its own, including numerous songs. Of these the most popular was one that appeared in the Labor Standard in July 1878. Based on an 1866 poem written by I. G. Blanchard in the Workingman's Advocate, it was set to music by the Reverend Jesse H. Jones. The lyrics deem current working conditions a violation of God's will and the laws of the creation, which require that humans have time to devote to reflection, communion with nature, and, more generally, the exercise of freedom. The refrain, "Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will," sees the division of the day into this triad as inherently and transcendently appropriate.
“It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.” -- William Faulkner
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