John Simkin Posted July 7, 2004 Author Share Posted July 7, 2004 When he heard that he was to be executed Joe Hill sent a message to Bill Haywood saying: "Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize." He also asked Haywood to arrange his funeral: "Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don't want to be found dead in Utah." Hill last act before his death was to write the poem, My Last Will. Joe Hill, My Last Will (November, 1915) 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. In 1925 Alfred Hayes wrote a poem about the death of Joe Hill. In 1950 Earl Robinson turned it into a song, I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night. It was made popular by Paul Robeson who was blacklisted for his left-wing views in the 1950s 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, 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 Joe says, "What they forgot to kill Went on to organize, Went on to organize." "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," Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill." 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 To find out more about Joe Hill and Paul Robeson see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhillJ.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USArobeson.htm Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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