Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Joe Hill Remembered.

      I'm a day late with this, but then again our working class heroes should be remembered and honoured every day of the year.
      Joe Hill, also known as Joe Hillstrom, his original name was Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, (born October 7, 1879, Gävle, Sweden)
       Joe Hill was a song writer and organiser for the IWW, Industrial Workers of the World, He immigrated to America from Sweden in 1902, and spent years drifting across the country seeking work where he could. In 1910 he joined the San Pedro, California local of the Industrial Workers of the World, becoming its secretary. In 1903, his most famous song, “The Preacher and the Slave” appeared in the IWW’s Little Red Song Book. This is sung to the tune of “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” and contains the words:

You will eat, bye and bye
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die. 
Photo from

       Joe hill was executed by firing squad on November 19th. 1915. His conviction was based on purely circumstantial evidence, and despite mass protests and appeals, and suggestions that his conviction was because of his radical views, his execution went ahead. The night before his execution he stated to IWW member Big Bill Haywood “Goodbye Bill. I die like a true rebel. Don’t waste time in mourning. Organize.”
Also on the eve of his death he wrote:
 My Will is easy to decide
For there is nothing to divide.
My kin don't need to fuss and moan.
"Moss does not cling to rolling stone."
My body?—Oh!—If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow.
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
This is my Last and Final Will—
Good Luck to All of you,
 Joe Hill

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