Monday, 25 March 2013

Remembering Joe Hill

 One of the biggest reasons for interesting me in the work of the Industrial Workers of the World were its prolific work in protest and folk songs. The old IWW was rich in songwriters, arguably the most important (certainly the most famous) was Joe Hill a Swedish born organiser for the IWW. While in Utah he was arrested and tried for the murder of a shopkeeper and his son. The evidence was that Hill owned a Red Bandanna and had been treated for a gun shot wound that same night (as had four others) and that was it. He was executed by firing squad on the 19th November 1915.

 Joe Hill's Last Will

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? 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

Joe Hill wrote some of the American Labour movements most popular songs including Casey Jones- Union Scab, Preacher and the Slave, There is power in the Union and Rebel Girl.

His example stuck with me so when I started writing pro-IWW poetry I decided to write this tribute to him.

The Death of Joe Hill

Joe Hill was shot down
By firing squad, they did it
Do not mourn for him

Joe Hill is dead now
But like Jesus he lives on
In our hearts and minds

Joe Hill left his will
He did not ask us to kill
But to Organise

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

#blog-pager { display: block !important; float: none!important; } .blog-pager-older-link, .home-link, .blog-pager-newer-link { background-color: #FFFFFF!important; }