Printable Version

Working in the Cane Fields
Digital History ID 13

Author:   Carrie Fisher and Leo Fitzpatrick

Annotation: Plantation songs describe caneworkers’ lives.

Document: Awake! Stir your bones! Rouse up!
Shrieks the Five o’Clock Whistle.
Don’t dream you can nestle
For one more sweet nap.
Or your ear-drums I’ll rap
With my steam-hammer tap
Till they burst.
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! w-ak-e-u-u-u-up!

Filipino and Japanee;
Porto Rican and Portugee;
Korean, Kanaka, and Chinese;
Everybody whoever you be
On the whole plantation—
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! w-ak-e-u-u-u-up!

Source: “The Five O’Clock Whistle,” Kohala Midget, April 27, 1910.

Copyright 2021 Digital History