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Joe Hill, Song Lyrics


A brief history of Joe Hill

Joe Hill, was born in Sweden as Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, on October 7, 1879. Emigrating to the United States of America in 1902 with his brother Paul.

In the U.S.A., he became a migrant laborer, and joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) in 1910. He used the name Joe Hillstrom but used the shorter "Joe Hill" for his many songs, poems and cartoons written in IWW literature.

On January 10, 1914, John Morrison a grocer and former policeman and his son were shot and killed in their Salt Lake City grocery store by two armed robbers, one of whom was shot and killed at the scene. It was assmed it was revenge killing as nothing had been stolen and John Morrison had been a policeman. After 12 other people had been arrested and released for the crime, Joe Hill was arrested and charged.

Joe Hill was executed by firing squad by State of Utah, on November 19, 1915.

You can read more on the life and death of Joe Hill at Wikipedia.


Joe Hill's Last Will

(Written in his cell, November 18, 1915, on the eve of his execution.)

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 a rolling stone."
My body? Ah, if I could choose,
I would to ashes it reduce,
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flower' 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




Songs by Joe Hill

Casey Jones, by Joe Hill, 1912

Count Your Workers, Count Them!, by Joe Hill, 1912

Don't Take My Papa Away From Me, by Joe Hill, 1915

Down In the Old Dark Mills, by Joe Hill, 1913

Everybody's Joining It, by Joe Hill, 1912

It's a Long Way Down to the Soupline, by Joe Hill, 1915

John Golden and the Lawrence Strike, by Joe Hill, 1912

Mr. Block, by Joe Hill, 1913

Nearer My Job To Thee, by Joe Hill, 1913

Preacher and the Slave (Pie in the Sky), by Joe Hill, 1911

Scissor Bill, by Joe Hill, 1913

Should I Ever Be a Soldier, by Joe Hill, 1913

Stung Right, by Joe Hill, 1913

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay, by Joe Hill, 1914

The Girl Question, by Joe Hill, 1913

The Old Toiler's Message, by Joe Hill, 1913

The Rebel Girl, by Joe Hill, 1915

The Tramp, by Joe Hill, 1913

The White Slave Joe Hill, 1912

There is Power in a Union, by Joe Hill, 1913

We Will Sing One Song, by Joe Hill, 1913

What We Want, by Joe Hill, 1913

Where the Fraser River Flows, by Joe Hill, 1912

Workers of the World, Awaken, by Joe Hill, 1914


Poems and songs about Joe Hill

I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night, by Alfred Hayes, 1930

Joe Hill, by Phil Ochs, 1968

Joe Hillstrom, by Woody Guthrie, 1947

November 19th, (1915), by John E. Nordquist, 1916

Three Chords and the Truth, by Ry Cooder, 2007