Joe Hill Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson

Joe Hill (1879-1915) was a labor activist and songwriter who traveled across America, helping Workers organize into unions and writing what many consider America’s first protest songs. He was convicted of a murder he swore he didn’t commit, and executed by a Utah firing squad despite pleas from President Woodrow Wilson and sympathizers around the world.  First performed around a campfire, this song later had its largest audience when Joan Baez sang it at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.  For the next twenty years it was her most requested song.


I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and 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 Je. “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.”