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The March of the Women
Lyrics by Cicely Hamilton
Composed by Ethel Smyth

Cicely Mary Hamilton (15 June 1872 – 6 December 1952), was an English actress, writer, journalist, suffragist  and feminist, part of the struggle for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.


Hammill was raised by foster parents because her mother had gone missing.


In 1908 she and Bessie Hatton founded the Women Writers' Suffrage League.

During World War I, Hamilton initially worked in the organisation of nursing care, with the Scottish women's ambulance service near Paris, and then joined the army as an auxiliary. Later she formed a repertory company to entertain the troops.

After the war, she wrote as a freelance journalist. 

Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (22 April 1858 – 8 May 1944) was an English composer and a member of the women's suffrage movement. Her compositions include songs, works for piano, chamber music, orchestral works, choral works and operas.

Smyth tended to be marginalised as a ‘woman composer’, as though her work could not be accepted as mainstream. 

In 1910 Smyth joined the Women's Social and Political Union, a suffrage organization, giving up music for two years to devote herself to the cause, and to accompany its charismatic leader Mrs Pankhurst on many occasions.

Smyth had several passionate affairs in her life, most of them with women.

Verse 1

Shout, shout, up with your song!
Cry with the wind, for the dawn is breaking;
March, march, swing you along,
Wide blows our banner, and hope is waking.
Song with its story, dreams with their glory
Lo! they call, and glad is their word!
Loud and louder it swells,
Thunder of freedom, the voice of the Lord!


Verse 2

Long, long—we in the past
Cowered in dread from the light of heaven,
Strong, strong—stand we at last,
Fearless in faith and with sight new given.
Strength with its beauty, Life with its duty,
(Hear the voice, oh hear and obey!)
These, these—beckon us on!
Open your eyes to the blaze of day.


Verse 3

Comrades—ye who have dared
First in the battle to strive and sorrow!
Scorned, spurned—nought have ye cared,
Raising your eyes to a wider morrow,
Ways that are weary, days that are dreary,
Toil and pain by faith ye have borne;
Hail, hail—victors ye stand,
Wearing the wreath that the brave have worn!


Verse 4

Life, strife—those two are one,
Naught can ye win but by faith and daring.
On, on—that ye have done
But for the work of today preparing.
Firm in reliance, laugh a defiance,
(Laugh in hope, for sure is the end)
March, march—many as one,
Shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend.


Mary Winsor, demonstrating in 1917, was an American suffragist who was involved with the National Woman's Party and was arrested several times in connection with her campaign for women's suffrage.

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