I sang this song a few times as a member of the Tyneside Maritime Chorus
sometime around Xmas in 2011. A bitter-sweet work by the American singer-songwriter and activist Si Kahn
. Bitter, because it deals with a WWII twice-wounded veteran suffering from byssinosis, also called "brown lung disease" or "Monday fever", which is an occupational lung disease caused by exposure to cotton dust in inadequately ventilated working environments. His doctor dismisses the illness putting down the condition to heavy smoking and being work-shy. Both patient and doctor know this to be a lie. Corrupt state politicians in pay of the cotton industry do nothing and as the singers says are rotten.
Sweet is the song because of its melody and fine chorus.
This song may be found in the Tyneside Maritime Chorus songbook