The playful gist was that the Internationale would be the new national anthem played at baseball games.
Rag Blog author Steve Rossignol recently retired as an IBEW electric worker. He turned his attention to the rich vein of union and socialist history in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to ensure that this earlier period of insurgency would be remembered. A century ago, both the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Socialist Party were active in Texas and adjoining states.
William Covington Hall, a Wobbly labor organizer who led the East Texas Lumber Workers in their strike at Grabow, Louisiana, in 1912, was a writer, poet, labor organizer, and socialist. Steve’s research came to our attention when Steve asked for help to place a marker on Covington Hall’s unmarked grave. We asked him to write something about the Wobblies and Socialists in Texas. He did and is still working on the Covington Hall article.
During the Seventies and Eighties in Austin and the Hill Country, our socialist meetings and encampments would sometimes be punctuated by the singing of those old socialist songs, especially the Internationale. Invariably at the conclusion of that venerable hymn of the proletariat, Travis would shout out, “Play ball!” — the playful gist of the comment implying that the Internationale would be the new national anthem played at baseball games.