0

I was wondering how should I interpret this verse from the old union song Solidarity Forever:

What's the ought with have in common with those greedy parasites?


I'm split between

What responsibility do we have towards those greedy parasites?

and

What responsibilities do we share with those greedy parasites?

The first reading is more consistent with the theme of the song but without contex the second seems more correct (a common ought -> a shared responsibility), which makes me think it might be an idiom or an old usage I'm not familiar with.

5

Did you hear it or read it somewhere? The correct start of the second verse:

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?

"Aught" is an archaic word meaning "anything at all".

Aught

Solidarity Forever

  • Thanks, that explains a lot :D – Reverent Lapwing Apr 9 at 12:46
  • 1
    I think "aught" is still used frequently in some areas, although it is often spelt (and pronounced) "owt", which pairs with its opposite - "nowt". – Tim Foster Apr 9 at 13:22
  • 1
    "You don't get owt for nowt" is Yorkshire dialect. – Michael Harvey Apr 9 at 14:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.