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JoeHill100 moving

This website may go dark for a few days while we move to a new webhost. We hope to be back no later than Sept. 21. We were able to gain access to our domain registration with the assistance of a domain directory service, and have now purchased a webhosting contract with a new provider. They promise to transfer the content over soon.

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For more than a year, our webhosting service (EZOS) has been refusing our requests for technical support. They have also refused to provide access to our domain registration, and the phone number and contact information available through WhoIs for the domain registrar they used appears to be bogus.

Without access to the domain registration we cannot switch to a new webhost, and so we are forced to abandon JoeHill100.com even though the domain is registered for the next several years. We expect this site will go dark at some point in September, access to its contents should be available through the Internet Archive (Wayback Machine). Alternately, you can download any files you are interested in access to so long as this site remains live. We do not anticipate being able to regain access to this domain.

Our annual labor history calendar will continue to be available through http://iwwhlf.org, and we can be contacted via email [iwwhlf at gmail.com] or by post [PO Box 42531, Philadelphia PA 19101] to order Joe Hill-related literature or other material we distribute. We regret the inconvenience, but this is an issue we have been trying to resolve for many months without success and there are no remaining options to keep the site live available.

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Commemorations Joe Hill songs

The Joe Hill Revival – a musical

Joe Hill Revival cast

The Joe Hill Revival musical will be performed Sunday, February 6, at 2 pm at the Triad Theater in New York City. In-person and streaming tickets are available.

“The Joe Hill Revival,” is a new musical that brings back to life the story of labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill, framed up and executed by the state of Utah in 1915. This will be an encore one-night-only performance at the Triad Theater in Manhattan on Sunday, February 6, 2-4pm. The book and original music and lyrics are by Dan Furman, with additional lyrics by Joe Hill and others. The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, with a cast featuring Laurént Grant Williams as Joe Hill and Caitlin Caruso Dobbs as Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. They are joined by Nicola Barrett, Laura Bright, Curtis Faulkner, Julia Fein, Drew Hill, Christopher Isolano and Ace McCarthy and supported by a 4-piece band.

The show was first performed at the Outdoor Patio @ Rustik Tavern in Brooklyn, Sept. 14-Oct. 6, 2021. A song from the musical is available online (as is more information on the show and links to purchase tickets) at: http://www.brooklyntaverntheater.com/the-joe-hill-revival.html?fbclid=IwAR0n0s3zf9YD16OLJJmR-fq6pWz4KEswkaMXP1FH8YtiLwMGrQ-80cNRdjY

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Commemorations Joe Hill songs

Remembering Joe Hill on May Day

View at Medium.com

Joe Hill, or Mayday with the Wobblies

Born in Sweden, in 1879, as Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, he and his brother Paul Elias moved to the United States in 1902. There, he lived as an itinerant worker, going where he could find work and facing periods of unemployment. In 1910, as he worked the docks in San Pedro, CA, he joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), commonly referred to as Wobblies, an international labour union established in Chicago in 1905. He, then, spent the next few years travelling the country, helping workers organize in unions and writing songs of protest. In early 1914, Joe Hill was working near Salt Lake City, UT, when a grocer and his son were killed in their store by a couple of armed intruders. Although the evidence pointed to Joe’s innocence and despite a large mobilization of the people in favour of his acquittal, he was nonetheless sentenced to death by firing squad, which took place in late 1915. This leads us to conclude that his condemnation was motivated by a desire to silence his activism for the rights of workers.

One of the most notorious songs by Joe Hill is The Preacher and the Slave, written probably around 1910 or 1911, during the time of his early activity in the IWW. This song is a parody of the religious hymn In the Sweet By-and-By, written and composed by S. F. Bennett and J. P. Webster in 1868. The subject of the song is how religion and its ministers use the people’s faith — their fear of God and the promise of a better life in Heaven — as a mean to keep them obedient and servile under the yoke of their oppression.

Let us enjoy a rather recent interpretation of this song by synthpop creator Intellectual Dark Wave (video at the bottom):

Long-haired preachers come out every night
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right
But when asked how ‘bout something to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet:

CHORUS
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
(That’s a lie)

And the Starvation Army, they play
And they sing and they clap and they pray
Till they get all your coin on the drum
Then they tell you when you’re on the bum:

CHORUS

Holy Rollers and Jumpers come out
And they holler, they jump and they shout
Give your money to Jesus, they say
He will cure all diseases today.

CHORUS

If you fight hard for children and wife
Try to get something good in this life
You’re a sinner and bad man, they tell
When you die you will sure go to hell.

CHORUS

Workingmen of all countries, unite
Side by side we for freedom will fight
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grifters we’ll sing this refrain:

You will eat, bye and bye
When you’ve learned how to cook and how to fry
Chop some wood, ‘twill do you good
Then you’ll eat in the sweet bye and bye.
(That’s no lie)

Lucius Papyrius

28M | Portugal

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Anne Feeney dead

Folksinger Anne Feeney, who was part of the Joe Hill road show in 2015, has died of Covid 19 at age 69. Feeney was a lifelong activist, a commitment reflected in her songs. After working 12 years as a trial attorney, Feeney dedicated herself to music. Her albums include “Have You Been to Jail for Justice,” “Dump the Bosses Off Your Back,” and “Union Maid.” She served a term as president of the Pittsburgh Musicians Union, and was also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. She died February 3, 2021.

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Commemorations

German-language broadcast on Joe Hill’s ashes

German public broadcaster SWR is airing a German-language program on its internet radio station SWR2 this Sunday: “The Ashes of Joe Hill – The Resurrection of a Legend” Sunday, December 6, 2020 2:05 p.m., SWR2 Feature on Sunday, https://www.swr.de/swr2/doku-und-feature/die-asche-von-joe-hill-swr2-feature-am-sonntag-2020-12-06-100.html?fbclid=IwAR2c-eQ-7tx4rVEiekdkY0Zj61r7PFuy3Sygi6IcAKhwARs4dYB-RBOTkxI

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105th anniversary commemorations

November 19, 2020, marked the 105th anniversary of Joe Hill’s death.

British musician Holly Carter held a live online talk on the anniversary of Joe Hill’s murder by the state of Utah. She sings a few Joe Hill songs during a longer discussion of his life and influence: https://www.facebook.com/hollycartermusic/videos/162897875541834 It’s worth a listen, though she does slip up a few times – alternating between International and Industrial Workers of the World

Folksinger Otis Gibbs marked the anniversary by telling the story of Billy Bragg and Joe Hill’s ashes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY0O1v07_XQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR00czr8-A7KLPsgQUbwmCogq3isSwe251o50ZKhmkX2M4m2pZ_Q5ZaPceY&ab_channel=OtisGibbs

Dubamix’s new album includes his cover of Joe Hill’s “Rebel Girl.”

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Commemorations Joe Hill songs

Joe Hill Roadshow live broadcast, Saturday May 30

Michael & Nell will do a YouTube Live broadcast of their acclaimed Joe Hill Road Show on Saturday May 30, 8 pm central time.
This entertaining multimedia show consists of oral history, live music and over 75 historical images. After the show we will have a discussion, based on your Chat comments, about  the relevance of this history to what is going on today. We need a strong labor movement now more than ever!   Please mark your calendar and join us.  Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/4NfL9QNKmuc
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Joe Hill songs Media

Joe hill still stirring up rebellion

A recent article in the Chicago Reader ends:

“The melodies in The Little Red Songbook continue to ring out in the streets. And Chicago’s ingrained activist streak creates new forms of resistance to old ills. No matter how much the world changes, some things—the power of music, the power of the people—never will.”

Despite its headline the article is more about the Little Red Songbook than about Joe Hill, but it gives many examples of labor and other movement songs continuing to inspire workers to this day.

We have secured several discounted copies of Franklin Rosemont’s magisterial volume on Joe Hill’s legacy, available while supplies last (along with Wm. Adler’s more biographical work). We also have the expanded edition of The Letters of Joe Hill, edited by Philip Foner and Alexis Buss, which was expanded to include the text of all Hill’s surviving songs, letters and articles.

Also available, while supplies last, is the 2019 Solidarity Forever Labor History Calendar. This year’s edition focuses on great strikes, from the 1919 general strikes in Buenos Aires, Seattle and Winnipeg to the strikes that brought down apartheid, demanded an end to discrimination in Iceland, and mobilized millions of workers against austerity.

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Joe Hill songs Media

Joe Hill’s legacy: a fighting labor movement, rebel culture

The Chicago Reader (a shadow of its former self) features an article on Joe Hill and his legacy, “The protest songs that drove the Wobblies a century ago are still lighting fires,” that’s worth a read despite getting the IWW’s name wrong on the second reference (oddly, it’s right at the beginning of the piece). It notes that Joe Hill’s songs continue to inspire workers around the world, and quotes Tom Morello:

These songs look an unjust world square in the eye, slice it apart with satire, dismantle it with rage, and then drop a mighty sing-along chorus fit to raise the roof of a union hall or a holding cell…

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/little-red-songbook-iww-wobblies-joe-hill-may-day/Content?oid=46456670#.WuPo0RVsi3k.facebook

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Joe Hill at Vanderbilt (TN)

Joe Hill Road Show

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 

  • Location: Divinity 124 (Reading Room), Vanderbilt University

    Joe Hill’s songs fanned the flames of discontent in the early 20th century, becoming anthems of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union. Hill was executed in 1915 for a murder he probably did not commit, but his music has lived on to influence generations of social and political protest music.

    Featuring the Shelby Bottom Duo and Q&A with faculty from the Divinity School, and Departments of History and Sociology.

    Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Closest parking is Wesley Place Garage.

    Co-sponsored by Vanderbilt Department of Sociology, Divinity School, Department of History, Program in American Studies, and Blair School of Music’s Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. Special thanks to the Tennessee Arts Commission.