Ball of Wax 38 Songs of Protest: The Foghorns – “Sons and Daughters of the Molly Maguires”

Ball of Wax mainstays the Foghorns gift us all another gem with “Sons and Daughters of the Molly Maguires,” a seething, smart foray into our largely-forgotten history of labor strife and largely-suppressed tradition of class struggle. The Foghorns do righteous anger really well, and “Sons and Daughters of the Molly Maguires” is an outstanding bookend to “Ain’t I A Man.”  Lead Foghorn Bart Cameron sings “when my grandma served your grandma / she was told to wear gloves” with the thrilling, bold-faced scorn that the line deserves. When the chorus of “we ain’t no band of brothers / got no Governors for hire / we’re the angry sons and daughters of the Molly Maguires,” the song blooms into a joyous threat. “Sons and Daughters of the Molly Maguires” is a welcomed reminder of a strain of grounded, resilient, working-class resistance that the US has seemed to lose track of. Why? How? Like all regrettable cultural inheritance, I (probably unfairly) blame the Baby Boomers.

Note: this is not the Foghorns

Recorded at Foghorn and Ball of Waxer Colin J Nelson’s Her Car studio in Fremont, “Sons and Daughters of the Molly Maguires” boasts a lean, mean arrangement befitting the song’s content and tone. Play this song loudly:

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