“I Don’t Want Your Millions Mister” which is also known as “All I Want” comes to us from songwriter and union organizer Jim Garland of Harlan Kentucky. Garland worked briefly as a miner and then an organizer before moving to New York City along with his sister Sarah Ogan Gunning and half-sister Aunt Molly Jackson. The latter two are still regarded as two of America’s greatest ballad singers.
During the heart of the Depression Garland worked to organize the National Miners Union (NMU) and also to fight for equality and decent living conditions for miners. Once in New York City he helped raise funds for miners and union support. He and his sister and half-sister moved within a circle of ‘lefties’ that included Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.
“All I Want” is set to the traditional melody “I Don’t Want Your Greenback Dollar.” It is sung here by the Almanac Singers. Note there is an added verse about the Farm workers party which, in all likelihood, was added by the Almanacs.