The Origins of The Term Rosie the Riveter

The term “Rosie the Riveter” was first used in 1942 in a song of the same name written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. The song was recorded by numerous artists, including the popular big band leader Kay Kyser, and it became a national hit.The song portrays “Rosie” as a tireless assembly line worker, who earned a “Production E” doing her part to help the American war effort.

All the day long, whether rain or shine
She’s a part of the assembly line
She’s making history,
working for victory–
Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter.

Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage
Sitting up there on the fuselage.
That little frail can do
more than a male can do–
Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter.

Rosie’s got a boyfriend, Charlie.
Charlie, he’s a Marine.
Rosie is protecting Charlie,
workin’ overtime on the riveting machine.

When they gave her a production “E,”
she was as proud as a girl could be!
There’s something true about–
red, white, and blue about–
Rosie, brrrr, the riveter.

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Sheet music cover for the song Rosie the Riveter, words and music by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb.

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