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I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night

Song: I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night
Poem: Alfred Hayes (poem) 1930(1)

Music: put to song by Earl Robinson(2) 1936
Year: 1930 + 1936
Genre: Traditional
Country: USA


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 City, 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(3)
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize."
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
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 workers strike and organize,"
Says he, You'll find Joe Hill,(4)
Says he, You'll find Joe Hill,(4)

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


Notes:

1 - Alfred Hayes, (1911 - 1985), poet and screenwriter, a biography from The Criterion Collection. Born in Britain, but at three years-old moved to the USA.

2 - Earl Hawley Robinson, (1910 - 1991), a biography from History Link

3 - In the version sung by Paul Robeson, transcribed 2011, this line is "Says Joe, What they can never kill..."

4 - In the version sung by Paul Robeson, transcribed 2011, this line is "Its there you'll find Joe Hill,"

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