WE NEVER FORGET: Songs to Honor and Remember Fellow Worker and Rebel Songwriter Joe Hill

Songs for Joe Hill

Joe Hill’s Great-Grand Niece, Lovisa Samuelsson performs a song she wrote for Joe Hill at the Joe Hill Centennial Celebration in Salt Lake, Utah. She is joined on stage by her mother, Pia Samuelsson, and her uncle, Rolf Hägglund. They are descendants of Joe Hill’s brother Efraim Hägglund. She is playing on the guitar of Utah Phillips which contains some of Joe Hill’s ashes.

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WE NEVER FORGET: The Love Songs of Joe Hill

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.
-Joe Hill

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Hilda Erickson
Hilda Erickson

There are three love songs written by Joe Hill that have survived to make their way into our Rebel Songwriter’s musical legacy. Two were found in his room when it was searched soon after his arrest in January of 1914. These two songs were subsequently published in The Salt Lake Tribune of June 21, 1914. The third was found years later in Stockholm, Sweden, during a search of the Joe Hill file of the Archives of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Four

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.
-Joe Hill
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Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at San Pedro Sailors Mission
Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at Sailors’ Rest Mission in San Pedro, April 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the fourth day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 4 of this series.

The Songs & Poems of Joe Hill,
Published in the Little Red Songbooks of 1914 & 1916

The Eighth Edition of the Little Red Songbook, published in Cleveland and dated December, 1914, was dedicated as the “Joe Hill Edition.” There were no new Joe Hill song’s in that edition, but there was a poem headed by a drawing of a wooden shoe entitled “The Rebel’s Toast.” The poem appears under the song “Liberty Forever,” but Green believes that the two are not related and states that there is no evidence to indicate that Joe Hill intended for the poem to be sung.

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WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Three

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.
-Joe Hill
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Joe Hill, cartoon, And stay off! See! Sept 1911
Cartoon drawing by Joe Hill, September 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the second day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 3 of this series.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Three”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Two

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.
-Joe Hill

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joe Hill, cartoon, And stay off! See! Sept 1911
Cartoon drawing by Joe Hill, September 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the second day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 2 of this series.

 

The Songs of Joe Hill, Published in the Little Red Songbook of 1913

The Industrial Worker of March 6, 1913 announced that the new edition of the Little Red Songbook would include eleven new songs. On the front cover, that issue of the songbook was designated as the Fifth Edition. Nine of the eleven new songs were by Joe Hill, and included: Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Two”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part One


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.
-Joe Hill
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The Songs of Joe Hill from the Little Red Songbook, Part 1.
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Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at San Pedro Sailors Mission
Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at Sailors’ Rest Mission in San Pedro, April 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. Over the next few days, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, will feature FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy by presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 1 of this series.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part One”

Hellraisers Journal: Ralph Chaplin and Jim Larkin Honor the Memory of Joe Hill, from the International Socialist Review

Therefore, Comrades, over the great heart of Joe Hill, now stilled in death,
let us take up his burden, rededicate ourselves to the cause that knows no failure,
and for which Joseph Hillstrom cheerfully gave his all.
-Jim Larkin
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Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday December 1, 1915
From the International Socialist Review:
Comrades Ralph Chaplin and Big Jim Larkin Remember Joe Hill

This month’s edition of the Review honors the memory of Joe Hill who was murdered by the state of Utah on Friday, November 19th.

Joe Hill, charcoal drawing by L. Stanford Chumley:

Joe Hill, charcoal, by L. Stanford Chumley, ISR, Dec 1915

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