Joe Hill

 

 

Joe Hill - 'The Man Who Never Died'

 

featuring Arthur Johnston, Eileen Penman, George Duff, Forgaitherin', and Ray Burnett

 

Thu 5 Nov | 7pm (2hrs) | 10 (8)

The Carrying Stream Festival

Joe Hill: The Man Who Never Died

@ Scottish Storytelling Centre

Reception: 0131 556 9579

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR

 

Tickets from the Storytelling Centre

 

 

19 November 2015 marks the centenary of the murder of Joe Hill - Swedish-born American labour activist and organiser, songwriter and member of the Wobblies' (the Industrial Workers of the World). His most famous songs include 'The Preacher and the Slave' (containing the new phrase 'pie in the sky'), 'The Tramp', 'There is Power in the Union' 'The Rebel Girl' and 'Casey Jones the Union Scab'. 

 

Hill was convicted of murder in a highly controversial trial. Following an unsuccessful appeal, and despite political debates and international calls for clemency from high-profile figures and workers' organisations, he was executed in Salt Lake City on 19 November 1915. 

 

After his death, he was memorialised by several folk songs, including 'I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night' by Alfred Hayes. His life and death have also inspired a plethora of poems and books.

 

 Joe Hill  (Alfred Hayes, c.1930, musc by Earl Robinson, 1938)

 

 

 

 

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,


Alive as you or me


Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"


"I never died," says he.
"I never died," says he.


 

"In Salt Lake, Joe," says I to him,


Him standing by my bed,


"They framed you on a murder charge,"


Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"


Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."



 

"The copper bosses killed you, Joe,


They shot you, Joe," says I.


"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says Joe,

"I didn't die,"
Says Joe,

"I didn't die."



And standing there as big as life


And smiling with his eyes


Says Joe, "What they forgot to kill


Went on to organize,


Went on to organize."



 

"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,


"Joe Hill ain't never died.


Where working men are out on strike


Joe Hill is at their side,


Joe Hill is at their side."


From San Diego up to Maine,


In every mine and mill -


Where working men defend their rights


It's there you'll find Joe Hill.


It's there you'll find Joe Hill.



 

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,


Alive as you or me


Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead",


"I never died," says he.


"I never died," says he.