Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later


Mournful Song of the Great Fire

By Yehuda Horvitz

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Whoever saw the hellish fire at 33 Washington Place,
A terrible tragedy, something quite new,
Can never forget it, And everyone knows many lives were lost.
They were incinerated In a factory 10 stories high.
There were horrible screams from the onlookers,
Those who were burned alive
And those who choked in the smoke.

What a horrific sight appeared on the
25th of March at 5 o'clock.
There hasn't been such a tragedy for a long time.
Wailing, uproar, and noise.
The fire flamed and blocked their path.
They were found as charred coal under the destroyed building.
The offerings were roasting and
They couldn't be saved.

Many working girls lost their lives.
Their parents are looking for them now.
Enveloped in frightful flames.
They left their homes healthy.
They prayed to be rescued.
From the fire that broke out. The firemen came and took them down,
But it was already too late.

"Woe is me!" It's no wonder that the screaming
Spread among men and women alike.
That bitter, "Woe is me!" could be heard from
Fathers, mothers and small children.
When they heard the cries for help, They immediately ran
To save the children.
One mother ran up and also met her death.
The fire demanded, "Stay!"

The workers' lives are in danger
In the factory buildings.
One life's at risk.
And there are new victims all the time,
Who leave the world before their time.
Not a year goes by when there aren't
Tragedies every minute.
Because of the crowded rooms
The graves are filled with blood of young people.

With bloody ink the burning deaths
Of 100 are now being recorded.
One hundred roasted and wounded,
Their faces unrecognizable,
Those who survived are in need -
Families without a piece of bread.
How awful is their situation.
Sights such as what occurred
One can see only here in this Golden Land.

Note: ©2003, reprinting prohibited.

Written and sung by Yehuda Horvitz to the tune of a Jewish prayer, this song commemorates the deaths of Jewish women in the Triangle Fire. We have no information about when it was written. The Kheel Center extends special thanks to Manny Rubenstein of Chicago, IL for donation of these documents ©2003.

Sweatshop conditions in the early 1900's