The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #141046   Message #3243693
Posted By: Fossil
23-Oct-11 - 07:06 PM
Thread Name: NZ National Radio: Joe Hill
Subject: Folklore: Joe Hill
Was listening to a very good documentary on NZ National Radio this morning - it is our Labour Day, therefore a public holiday - on the subject of Joe Hill, his life, union activities, songwriting and execution on a trumped-up murder charge.

Also covered the bizarre things that happened after his death: his body cremated and his ashes divided into small packages which were sent to IWW offices around the world.

Apparently, the ashes were supposed to be scattered simultaneously on May Day, but that didn't happen. And in at least one case in Australia, the unannounced arrival of the Joe package coincided with a police raid and its confiscation as evidence. When, some time later, the unionists realised what was in the mysterious package and asked for it back, they were told that the police chief had burned it!

And the songs were brilliantly sung, not sure by whom. Actually very funny and quite moving. I think Joe Hill and his ideas may be due for a comeback - they certainly play directly to the concerns of the OWS protesters. And of course the programme was opened and closed with Paul Robeson singing "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill..." Magic.

Anyone else on the Mudcat know of sources for Joe Hill songs?