Tune: “Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland” (Leo Friedman)
First published in the March 1913 edition (fifth edition) of the IWW Little Red Songbook.
One little girl, fair as a pearl,
Worked every day in a laundry;
All that she made for food she paid,
So she slept on a park bench so soundly;
An old procuress spied her there,
And whispered softly in her ear:
Come with me now, my girly,
Don’t sleep out in the cold;
Your face and tresses curly
Will bring you fame and gold,
Automobiles to ride in, diamonds and silks to wear,
You’ll be a star bright, down in the red light,
You’ll make your fortune there.
Same little girl, no more a pearl,
Walks all alone ‘long the river,
Five years have flown, her health is gone,
She would look at the water and shiver,
Whene’er she’d stop to rest and sleep,
She’d hear a voice call from the deep:
Girls in this way, fall every day,
And have been falling for ages,
Who is to blame? you know his name,
It’s the boss that pays starvation wages.
A homeless girl can always hear
Temptations calling everywhere.
Swedish version sung (with a Hawaiian flavor) by Lucas Stark. For sheet music and karaoke file click here.
Hey, all you girls and fellows
That do depend on Bill
To do your work and duties,
I’ll put you next, I will.
I’ll put you next to Billy,
I’ve known him since the ‘Quake;
Of all the Weary Willies,
That guy, he takes the cake.
He is so gol durn lazy
He wouldn’t do a tap’
I rather would depend on
Some fool Missouri yap.
Now take my tip, you workers
That slave in mine and mill,
And never do depend upon
That good for nothing Bill.
First published in Industrial Worker, October 1912. Underneath the title appeared, in parentheses: “Written by J. Hill, and dedicated to those who have nothing to lose but their chairs.” (That last word is not a typo.)
Release of Joe Hill centenary edition of “Solidarity Forever” Labor History calendar.
11/14/2014 Joe Hill 100 Years Part 3, Labor/Migrant/Gulf Group Exhibition. Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted, Chicago. Features work by more than 70 artists from around the world. Opening features Bucky Halker singing songs of Joe Hill. 8 p.m.
1/16/2015 Proposals due for 47th annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association. Come to Seattle May 1-3 to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the writing of Solidarity Forever, Honor the life of Joe Hill on the centennial of his execution, and Act to strengthen and rebuild the labor movement for a secure future.
Exhibition: 3/14/2015: Joe Hill – martyren från Gävle. Länsmuseet/Gävle, Sweden. The website includes information on the exhibit, which will run for several weeks, and on related events.
Film Showing & Joe Hill Songs: 3/25/14: La Maison des Métallos (Steel Workers House), Paris, France. Release party for new Les Mutins de Pangée documentary on Howard Zinn, which includes segment on Joe Hill. Fred Alpi will perform Joe Hill songs.
Exhibition: 4/10/2015Joe Hill 100 Years Part 4: Killed, paintings by James Wechsler. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S Halsted, Chicago.
5/1-2/2014 Chicago Commemoration. Among events being organized are a Friday night concert and ceremonies at the Haymarket Monument on Friday May 1 (Illinois Labor History Society, Noon) and at Waldheim Cemetery Saturday May 2 (11 a.m., includes scattering of ashes of former IWW General Executive Board chair Fred Lee, who secured the release of Joe Hill’s ashes from federal custody).
Concert: 5/1-10/2015 Joe Hill Road Show. Concerts in Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, St. Paul, and more.
Joe Hill Road Show: 5/1/2015 May Day Kickoff with Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund direct from Sweden and more! Haymarket Monument, 175 N. Desplaines St., Chicago. Free
Friday, May 1: Chicago: HideOut, 1354 W Wabansia Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, and a short talk on Joe Hill by Alexis Buss. http://www.hideoutchicago.com
Sunday, May 3: Batavia, IL: Fox Valley Folk Society, with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund http://foxvalleyfolk.com
Tuesday, May 5:Sheboygan WI: Paradigm Café, 1202 N 8th St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and guest Michael Lee Amons. http://paradigmvenue.com/
Wednesday, May 6: Madison, WI: Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guests David HB Drake, Steven Lee Rich, David Sewell, Moe Hirsch, The Solidarity Sing-A-Long Singers, the Forward Marching Band, and spoken word with Marty Kehrein and Martha Stahl. http://www.barrymorelive.com/
Thursday, May 7: Green Bay, WI: Luna Café, 330 Main Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guest Skip Jones. https://lunacafe.com/
Friday, May 8: Milwaukee, WI: Anodyne Café, 224 W Bruce St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guests David HB Drake, Will Branch and Harvey Taylor. https://anodynecoffee.com/
Saturday, May 9: Oshkosh, WI: New Moon Café, 401 N Main St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund. http://newmooncafe.com/
Sunday, May 10: St. Paul, MN: East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St.with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, and special guests Emmett Doyle and Paul Metsa. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/
5/1-3/2015 Pacific Northwest Labor History Association conference, celebrating the centenary of the writing of “Solidarity Forever” and honoring the life of Joe Hill on the centennial of his execution. Seattle, Washington.
Concert & Book Release: 6/6/2015. Tribute to Joe Hill celebrates release of a new French translation of Franklin Rosemont’s book on Joe Hill and working-class culture, and several musicians performing Joe Hill’s songs in French and English. CNT complex, 33 rue des Vignoles, 75020 Paris, France.
6/14/2015 Sonoma, Calif. Sebastiani Theater, 476 First St. East
6/19/2015 Richmond, Virginia. Singleton Center for Performing Arts, 922 Park Ave.
7/5/2015 Concert: David Rovics, Joe Hill Commemoration Concert, opening LaborFest 2015 at ILWU Local 34 Hall in San Francisco. On July 5, 1934, two longshore strike supporters were gunned down by police, igniting the 1934 San Francisco general strike. LaborFest is an annual working class cultural, music and film festival. www.laborfest.net
7/14/2015: Poetry & Music: Bastille Day, Words on the Anniversary of Joe Hill’s Death. LaborFest, San Francisco. Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 p.m. Free. First Unitarian Universalist Church – 1187 Franklin Street. Poets Judith Ayne Bernard, Dorothy Payne, John Curl, Mahmaz Badihian, Jack Hirschman, Agneta Falk, Karen Melander Magoon and others. Music with Troubadour Vic Sadot.
7/15/2015: Film: “The Ballad of Joe Hill”(1971, Sweden) by Bo Widerberg. San Francisco. FilmWorks United International Working Class Film & Video Festival. Wednesday, July 15,7:00 p.m. Free. ILWU Local 34 Hall, 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park.
This dramatic film tells Joe Hill’s story as an immigrant coming to the United States. This rarely seen Academy Award-nominated film is about an ingenious immigrant labor organizer who is framed on a murder charge in a highly sensationalized trial with little evidence. Despite worldwide appeals, Hill is martyred by a Utah firing squad after one of the most controversial capital punishment trials of the 20th Century. Today, on the hundredth anniversary of his death, the state of Utah has reinstated the firing squad. Despite the bullets that ended his life, his legacy, humor, principles and solidarity with workers of the world live on.
7/23 – 8/2/2015 Joe Hill Roadshow, East Coast leg begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Cambridge, Mass.
Thursday, July 23, Washington, DC: Magpie, Charlie King, DC Labor Chorus and George Mann in concert. Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St NW, 7:30 pm. $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Friday, July 24, Baltimore: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann in concert. First Unitarian Church, 514 N Charles St., 7:30 pm. $15, $10 students and seniors, no one turned away for lack of funds. Advance tickets: 410.685.2330
Saturday, July 25, Philadelphia: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann with special guest John Braxton in concert. University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut St., 7:30 p.m. Sliding Scale, $10 – $30, children $5. Sponsored by Crossroads Concerts; co-sponsored by American Swedish Historical Museum and IWW Hungarian Literature Fund.
Sunday, July 26, Ithaca, NY: Magpie, The Burns Sisters and George Mann in concert. The Space at Greenstar, 700 W Buffalo St., 7:00 pm. $15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Wednesday, July 29, New York City: Magpie, Charlie King, George Mann and New York City Labor Chorus in concert.Local 1199 Union MLK Auditorium, 310 West 43rd Street, New York, 7:30 pm, $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Thursday, July 30, Schenectady, NY: Charlie King, Magpie, Joe Jencks, and George Mann onstage in the underground theater. Eighth Step at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, 7:00 pm
Friday, July 31, Barre, VT: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann (with special guests Anything Goes) in concert. Old Socialist Labor Hall, 46 Granite Street, 7:30 pm, tickets $15, seniors and students $12, no one turned away!
Joe Hill Roadshow, Northeast Leg
Saturday, August 1, Springfield, MA: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann in concert. Bing Art Center, 718 Sumner Ave., 8:00 pm. $15, students and seniors $10, none turned away for lack of funds.
Sunday, August 2, Cambridge, MA: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann (with special guest Evan Greer) wrap up the Northeast leg with a concert at this venerable, historic folk music venue. Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA 8:00 pm. Tickets $20, $18 for members.
8/13-15/2015 Still Building Internationalism Conference, Gävle, Sweden. Three days of music, books, and organized discussions around the topics of Work and Migration, Work and Repression, and Building Internationalism, Connecting Struggles. Organized by the SAC union,Joe Hill-sällskapet and Federativs Förlag, the conference will be attended by members of self-managed and radical unions across Europe. Click here for information on registration.
9/5/2015 Concert: The Joe Hill Organizing Committee hosts a day-long celebration of Joe Hill’s life and work Saturday, Sept. 5, at Sugarhouse Park (which stands on the site of the prison where Joe Hill was held and executed) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noon to 8 p.m. Judy Collins, Mark Ross, Anne Feeney, David Rovics, Mischief Brew, Joe Jencks, and many more. Free.
10/4/2015 Concert: Joe Hill Roadshow, Atlanta, Georgia, 7:00 p.m. With I Want Whiskey, George Mann, Lee Furey, Jumpin’ Jesus Christers, and Craig Rafuse. Sunday, Oct. 4, Eyedrop, 88 Forsyth Street, Georgia. $10 – $20 sliding scale.
10/8/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker. Woody Guthrie and songs of the Dustbowl. The show will also include several Joe Hill songs. Chillicothe Library, 430 N Bradley Ave, Chillicothe, IL. 2:00 p.m., free.
10/9/2015 Joe Hill Roadshow, Louisville, Kentucky. 7:00 p.m. With John Gage, Will Oldham, Sue Massek, John Paul Wright, Walter Thomas Beck (poet), The Joe Hill Players and Special Guest Ira Grupper. Nelligan Hall, 2010 Portland Ave. $10.
10/10/2015 Concert: Shelby Bottom String Band, The Cantrells, Todd Sharp, Jack Herranen & The Little Red Band and others commemorate Joe Hill. Nashville, Saturday Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Douglas Corner, 2106 8th Avenue South, Nashville TN 37204. Tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door. (Checks can be mailed to TAP, PO Box 60338, Nashville TN 37206) Sponsored by Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Nashville Peace and Justice Center.
10/17/2015 Concert: Joe Hill Roadshow in Pittsburgh. Anne Feeney, Mike Stout and the Human Union, and Smokehouse Lightning. Saturday, Oct. 17, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The Pump House (location of the Historic Battle of Homestead), 880 E. Waterfront Dr., Munhall, Pennsylvania.
10/23/2015 Concert: An evening of Rebel Music commemorating Joe Hill’s centenary with Len Wallace, The Adrays, and The Slowdown. Friday Oct. 23, 8:00 p.m.,Cass Commons, 4605 Cass at Forest, Detroit. Sponsored by the Detroit Branch of the IWW, the Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. $10 donation.
Centenary of the murder of IWW songwriter and organizer Joe Hill by the state of Utah.
Joe Hill Roadshow, West Coast leg. Nov. 5 through Nov. 20. Chris Chandler, George Mann and David Rovics, with special guests.
November 5, San Diego: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics, Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. San Diego Education Association hall, 10393 San Diego Mission Rd. $5 – $15 sliding scale. Sponsored by IWW San Diego Organizing Caucus. Co-sponsored by San Diego Education Association (SDEA) & San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council (AFL-CIO); endorsed by Activist San Diego, Coalition for Labor and Community Solidarity, UCSD Union Coalition, Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, University Technical and Professional Employees Local 9, Groundwork Books Collective.
November 6, Los Angeles/San Pedro: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics, Friday, Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. (Reception at 7:00) IATSE Local 80 Hall, 2520 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. (Parking onsite) $10 – $20 sliding scale. Sponsored by IATSE, IWW Los Angeles, and Arbeiter Ring/Workmen’s Circle.
November 7, San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco Labor Heritage/Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus will join the Road Show’sChris Chandler, David Rovics and George Mann for this concert. Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave. $10-$20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 8, Nevada City, CA: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics with special guests Bodie Wagner and Duncan Phillips. Sunday, Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m. (Live broadcast) KVMR Radio Station Community Room, 120 Bridge St.,Nevada City. $10 – $15 sliding scale. This show also honors the legacy of IWW singer U. Utah Phillips, who lived in Nevada City for many years.
November 9, Reno, NV: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics with special guests Tim Gorlangton and David Fennimore. Monday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. Studio on 4th, 432 E 4th St. $10 – $15 suggested donation.
November 11, Weed, CA: Patrick Dodd, George Mann, Mark Ross & David Rovics perform from a boxcar stage. Wednesday, Nov. 11, Community Dinner 6:00 p.m., Show 8:00 p.m. Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, 800 Black Butte Rd. $10.
November 12, Phoenix OR: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics. Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Grass Shack Hawaiian Café, 205 Fern Valley Road, Phoenix, in the Shoppes at Exit 24. 6 p.m. buffet outside, 7 p.m. concert inside. Buffet is $13.95 (Please RSVP for dinner headcount 541-622-9483), Concert is $10 – $20 sliding scale. Nobody will be turned away from the concert for lack of funds. Sponsored by: Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice.
November 13, Eugene, OR: George Mann and David Rovics with Special Guest Mark Ross. Friday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. First Christian Church of Eugene, 1166 Oak St. Suggested donation $10-$20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 14, Portland, OR: George Mann and David Rovics special performance for the Cascade Media Convergence, Liberty Hall, 311 N. Ivy St. Suggested admission $5-$10.
November 15, Bellingham, WA: Linda Allen, George Mann, David Rovics and Rebel Voices (Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis). Sunday, Nov. 15, 7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist church, 1207 Ellsworth St. Sponsored by Bellingham GMB, Industrial Workers of the World. $10 – $20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 20, Salt Lake City, UT: Otis Gibbs, Duncan Phillips, Kate Macleod, Walter Parks and many special guests. Friday, Nov. 20, 8:00 p.m. The Stateroom, 638 South State St. $15 admission
11/5-28/2015 Play: The Subversive Theatre Collective presents Si Kahn’s “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Tickets $25, $20 for students, seniors and union members, Thursdays are pay what you can.Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Buffalo NY (third floor of North Buffalo’s historic Great Arrow Building).
11/7/2015 Concert: “Joe Hill…The Man Who Never Died… 100 Years Ago!” Everett, Washington. Featuring Gary Kanter, Friends & Fellow Travelers. Saturday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. Firewheel Community Coffee House 2727 Colby Ave.
11/13/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker, Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill. Friday, Nov. 13, 7:00 p.m. Uri-Eichen Art Gallery, 2101 S Halsted St, Chicago. Bucky will be sharing new recordings from his new release “Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Joe Hill. Some of these songs have never before been put to vinyl, disc or acetate. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for an exhibition of artwork from the IWW, the Illinois Labor History Society, Fight for Joe Hill, Molly Crabapple and Jon Langford, and a talk by public historian Paul Durica. The exhibit runs through Nov. 23.
11/17/2015 Tom Morello & Friends Joe Hill Memorial Concert. Tuesday, Nov. 17, 8:00 p.m. Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles. Performers include: Tom Morello, Joan Baez, Ziggy Marley, Van Dyke Parks, Boots Riley, Rich Robinson, The Last Internationale, Tim Armstrong, Wayne Kramer, Jill Sobule, David Rovics, and Built for the Sea. Part of events marking the centenary and celebrating the release of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill.Tickets $20.
11/18/2015 Lecture: William Adler, Salt Lake City, Utah. Adler, author of The Man Who Never Died, speaks at 7 p.m. at Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City; free.
11/19/2015 Vigil to mark centenary of the execution of Joe Hill, Salt Lake City. Sugar House Park,1400 East 2100 South, 6:00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Vigil: 7:21 a.m. Si Kahn & John McCutcheon will stand vigil on the very spot where Joe Hill was tied to a chair, blindfolded and, with a paper heart pinned to his chest, shot to death by a firing squad. Anyone in the Salt Lake City area is invited to join.
11/19/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker and Lil’ Rev,“Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill.” 7:30 p.m., Beulah Briton House, 2590 S Superior St., Bayview, WI. Donation.
11/19/2015 Soapboxing: The Upstate New York Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World will lead a traditional soapboxing demonstration at noon, on Thursday, Nov. 19 ,at Washington Avenue, downtown Albany, on the sidewalk adjacent to West Capitol Park. Presentation & Concert: That evening, IWW delegate Greg Giorgio will discuss Joe Hill’s Legacy and lead a sing-along of Joe Hill’s songs. 6:30 p.m. at the Altamont Free Library.
11/19/2015 Concert: John McCutcheon, “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Salt Lake City. The State Room.
11/19/2015 Bo Widerberg’s film Joe Hill will be shown in a newly restored and digitally remastered version produced by the National Library of Sweden as part of a Joe Hill Centenary event in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, Nov. 19. Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton, commencing at 5.00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Concert: Anne Feeney, Honoring the Legacy of Joe Hill. Sponsored by NW Oregon Labor Council. 8 p.m. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., Portland OR 97211.
11/19/2015 Concert: 100 years later: Tribute Concert for a true rebel that never died. Berlin. Bernd Köhler & Blandine Bonjour, Geigerzähler, The Overall Brigade. Supamolly, Jessner Str. 41, D-10247 Berlin, Germany. 6:00 – 12:00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Soapboxing. The General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World has called for Wobblies and others to emulate Joe Hill on the centenary of his execution by speaking on a sidewalk, public park or other public place about Joe Hill and the struggle for workers’ emancipation. A pamphlet issued to support the actions is available as a free download.
11/19/2015 The Letters of Joe Hill. Former IWW General Secretary-Treasurer Alexis Buss will discuss the life and legacy of Joe Hill, and in particular his writings collected in the new expanded edition of The Letters of Joe Hill (for which she collected extensive new material and updated and expanded the notes). John Braxton will sing Joe Hill’s songs. Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m., Swedish American Historical Museum, Philadelphia.
11/19/2015 Concert: “Don’t Mourn, Organize: The Musical Legacy of Joe Hill,” Chico, California. Jim Brobeck, Michael Cannon, Laurie Dana, Kim Gimbal, Mackenzie Howlett, Mark Johnson, David Longaker, Mark McKinnon , Gordy Ohliger, Laurel Paulson-Pierce, Katrina Rodriguez, Jim Williams, and David Zink will share music by Joe Hill and inspired by him. 7:00 p.m., Blue Room Theater, 139 West 1st Street, Chico (above Colliers Hardware, accessible). $15, reservations or advance tickets required. (Proceeds benefit the Bernie Sanders campaign; Joe Hill’s “Mr. Block” suggests he might have preferred a different strategy.)
11/20/2015 Concert: “Joe Hill…The Man Who Never Died… 100 Years Ago!” Seattle, Washington. Featuring Gary Kanter, Friends & Fellow Travelers. Friday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave., Seattle.
11/20/2015 Don’t Mourn, Organize! Performances in Celebration of Labor Troubadour Joe Hill. New York City. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! will lead a group of musicians and actors in a rousing evening honoring the great labor troubadour Joe Hill: Musicians Allison Moorer, Stephen Said, Son of Nun and Jamie Kilstein, actors Susan Pourfar and Brian Jones, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and writer Walter Mosley. Friday, Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. New School’s Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 W 12th St., Manhattan. The event celebrates publication of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill. Admission free, but tickets required.
11/20/2015 Commemoration Concert:Kansas City MO. Danny Cox, Dr. Joyce Downing, Tom James, Bill Clause, Kasey Raush & Scott Stanton, Ariana Eakle, Bob & Diana Suckiel and more. Friday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m. Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Rd. $15 donation. Be prepared to sing.
11/21/2015 Concert: John McCutcheon, “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Legion Arts.
11/21/2015. Joe Hill Roadshow, Knoxville TN. Jack Herranen & the Little Red Band, Black Atticus, Shelby Bottom Duo, Matt Kinman & Friends. Saturday, Nov. 21, Potluck 5:00 p.m., Show 7:00 p.m. Candoro Marble Building, 4450 Candora Ave., Knoxville. $5 donation.
11/22/2015 Commemoration: Joe Hill funeral re-enactment with a casket, brass band and several performers (including Swedish and Italian). Bucky Halker, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, and more. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago.
Exhibition: Joe Hill 100 Years Part 5. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S Halsted, Chicago. Posters and other memorabilia from the Industrial Workers of the World General HQ’s Collection, Molly Crabapple, and Pocket Guide to Hell’s Paul Durica. Live music with Bucky Halker.
12/12/2015 Presentation: “Don’t Mourn, Organize!” commemorating the life of Joe Hill and raising funds for Haymarket Books, publisher of the expanded edition of The Letters of Joe Hill. Bill Ayers, Rick Kogan, Maya Schenwar, Jesse Sharkey, Sharon Smith, James Thindwa, and other special guests will read from Joe Hill’s writings and perform his songs. Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:00 p.m., Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. Tickets $10 – $45, includes a copy of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill, compiled by Alexis Buss, with a new foreword by Tom Morello.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Musical History of Joe Hill & the Early Labor Movement Tour with the Shelby Bottom Duo (Michael August and Nell Levin)United Auto Workers Local 737, 6207 Centennial Blvd, Nashville TN, 2 pm.
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. SPECIAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW! Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement Tour with Shelby Bottom Duo, Nashville Peace & Justice Center, Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Avenue N., Nashville, 7 pm.
Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. The Joe Hill Roadshow makes a return appearance at the MSU Community Music School, Lansing, Michigan, 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $18, $5 for students. Performing are Magpie (Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino), Charlie King and George Mann.
November 2015 marks the centenary of the judicial murder of IWW organizer and songwriter Joe Hill. In the coming weeks we will be posting information on Joe Hill’s life, an interactive calendar for posting events around the world marking the centenary, the text of all of Joe Hill’s surviving songs, and other material. Your suggestions are welcome.
Words and music written by Joe Hill in Salt Lake City Utah prison 1915. First published in 1916 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook
There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows.
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
And are wearing the finest of clothes.
There are blue blooded queens and princesses,
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl;
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.
That’s the Rebel Girl, that’s the Rebel Girl! To the working class she’s a precious pearl. She brings courage, pride and joy To the fighting Rebel Boy. We’ve had girls before, but we need some more In the Industrial Workers of the World. For it’s great to fight for freedom With a Rebel Girl.
Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she’ll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.
Tune: “My Old Kentucky Home” (by Stephen Foster)
First published in 1913 edition of the IWW Little Red Songbook.
We will sing one song of the meek and humble slave,
The horn-handed son of the soil,
He’s toiling hard from the cradle to the grave,
But his master reaps the profits from his toil.
Then we’ll sing one song of the greedy master class,
They’re vagrants in broadcloth, indeed,
They live by robbing the ever-toiling mass,
Human blood they spill to satisfy their greed.
CHORUS: Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we’ll sing one song of the workers’ commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.
We will sing one song of the politician sly,
He’s talking of changing the laws;
Election day all the drinks and smokes he’ll buy,
While he’s living from the sweat of your brow.
Then we’ll sing one song of the girl below the line,
She’s scorned and despised everywhere,
While in their mansions the “keepers” wine and dine
From the profits that immoral traffic bear.
We will sing one song of the preacher, fat and sleek,
He tells you of homes in the sky.
He says, “Be generous, be lowly, and be meek,
If you don’t you’ll sure get roasted when you die.”
Then we sing one song of the poor and ragged tramp,
He carries his home on his back;
Too old to work, he’s not wanted ’round the camp,
So he wanders without aim along the track.
We will sing one song of the children in the mills,
They’re taken from playgrounds and schools,
In tender years made to go the pace that kills,
In the sweatshops, ‘mong the looms and the spools.
Then we’ll sing one song of the One Big Union Grand,
The hope of the toiler and slave,
It’s coming fast; it is sweeping sea and land,
To the terror of the grafter and the knave.
Tune: “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” (Harry Williams) (1912/1914)
First published as a song sheet for the defense fund, and then in the 25th edition (1933) of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.
Bill Brown was just a working man Iike others of his kind.
He lost his job and tramped the streets when work was hard to find.
The landlord put him on the stem, the bankers kept his dough,
And Bill heard everybody sing, no matter where he’d go:
CHORUS: It’s a long way down to the soupline,
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way down to the soupline,
And the soup is thin I know.
Good bye, good old pork chops,
Farewell, beefsteak rare;
It’s a long way down to the soupline,
But my soup is there.
So Bill and sixteen million men responded to the call
To force the hours of labor down and thus make jobs for all.
They picketed the industries and won the four-hour day
And organized a General Strike so men don’t have to say:
The workers own the factories now, where jobs were once destroyed
By big machines that filled the world with hungry unemployed.
They all own homes, they’re living well, they’re happy, free and strong,
But millionaires wear overalls and sing this little song:
With Joe Hill’s permission, Charles Ashleigh revised the song in 1915 to meet local conditions:
It’s A Long Way Down to the Breadline (1915)
Bill Brown lived in Manhattan, in good old New York town.
The poor man lost his job one day, no more work could be found.
Bill Brown tramped the city streets for work the livelong day;
Till finally he went busted flat, then he did sadly say:
CHORUS: It’s a long way down to the breadline, it’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way down to the breadline, and the bread is bum I know.
Good bye, good old pork chops, farewell, beefsteak rare.
It’s a long way down to the breadline, but my bread’s right there.
Bill Brown saw a big fine house, he knocked upon the door.
But they told him that they’d only help the “worthy poor.”
“Guess I’ll have to live on snowballs in the town where I was born,
“I haven’t got a rusty cent and my clothes are all in pawn.”
There’s discontent around the town among the sons of toil.
They’re all uniting as a class their master’s will to foil.
When all is over, men of wealth, with solemn faces long,
Will rue the day they heard the workers sing their latest song:
FINAL CHORUS: It’s a long way down to the breadline, it’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way down to the breadline – and much too far, I know.
The bosses have the pork chops and all the beefsteak rare;
There’s plenty there for one and all of us, if we go right there!
Tune: “Down By The Old Mill Stream” (Tell Taylor)
First published in 1913 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.
How well I do remember
That mill along the way,
Where she and I were working
For fifty cents a day.
She was my little sweetheart;
I met her in the mill —
It’s a long time since I saw her.
But I love her still.
CHORUS: Down in the Old Black Mill,
That’s where first we met.
Oh! that loving thrill
I shall ne’er forget;
And those dreamy eyes,
Blue like summer skies.
She was fifteen —
My pretty queen —
In the Old Black Mill.
We had agreed to marry
When she’d be sweet sixteen.
But then — one day I crushed it —
My arm in the machine.
I lost my job forever —
I am a tramp disgraced.
My sweetheart still is slaving
In the same old place.
Tune: “Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!” (by George F. Root, 1860s)
First published in the 1913 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.
If you all will shut your trap,
I will tell you ’bout a chap,
That was broke and up against it, too, for fair
He was not the kind that shirk,
He was looking hard for work,
But he heard the same old story everywhere:
CHORUS: Tramp, tramp, tramp, keep on a-tramping,
Nothing doing here for you;
If I catch you ’round again,
You will wear the ball and chain,
Keep on tramping, that’s the best thing you can do.
He walked up and down the street,
‘Till the shoes fell off his feet,
In a house he spied a lady cooking stew,
And he said, “How do you do,
May I chop some wood for you?”
What the lady told him made him feel so blue:
‘Cross the street a sign he read,
“Work for Jesus,” so it said,
And he said, “Here is my chance, I’ll surely try,”
And he kneeled upon the floor,
‘Till his knees got rather sore,
But at eating-time he heard the preacher cry:
Down the street he met a cop,
And the Copper made him stop,
And he asked him, “When did you blow into town?
Come with me up to the judge.”
But the judge he said, “Oh, fudge,
Bums that have no money needn’t come around.”
Finally came that happy day
When his life did pass away,
He was sure he’d go to heaven when he died,
When he reached the pearly gate,
Santa Peter, mean old skate,
Slammed the gate right in his face and loudly cried:
In despair he went to Hell,
With the Devil for to dwell,
For the reason he’d no other place to go.
And he said, “I’m full of sin,
So for Christ’s sake, let me in!”
But the Devil said, “Oh, beat it! You’re a ‘bo!”
Tune: “Where The River Shannon Flows” (James I. Russell) (1905)
First published in the 1912 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.
Fellow workers pay attention to what I’m going to mention,
For it is the fixed intention of the Workers of the World.
And I hope you’ll all be ready, true-hearted, brave and steady,
To gather ’round our standard when the red flag is unfurled.
CHORUS: Where the Fraser river flows, each fellow worker knows,
They have bullied and oppressed us, but still our union grows.
And we’re going to find a way, boys, for shorter hours and better pay, boys
And we’re going to win the day, boys, where the river Fraser flows.
For these gunny-sack contractors have all been dirty actors,
And they’re not our benefactors, each fellow worker knows.
So we’ve got to stick together in fine or dirty weather,
And we will show no white feather, where the Fraser river flows.
Now the boss the law is stretching, bulls and pimps he’s fetching,
And they are a fine collection, as Jesus only knows.
But why their mothers reared them, and why the devil spared them,
Are questions we can’t answer, where the Fraser River flows.