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NZ National Radio: Joe Hill

23 Oct 11 - 07:06 PM (#3243693)
Subject: Folklore: Joe Hill
From: Fossil

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?

23 Oct 11 - 07:48 PM (#3243717)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Joe Hill
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

If you type Joe Hill into the search box, you'll find a lot of stuff here on Mudcat.

You might start by looking at: DTStudy: Songs of Joe Hill.


23 Oct 11 - 11:38 PM (#3243763)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Joe Hill
From: open mike

I think that he was Swedish. I believe I have heard of a song
about his ashes being strewn upon the sea....

24 Oct 11 - 12:08 AM (#3243770)
Subject: RE: NZ National Radio: Joe Hill
From: Joe Offer

Fossil, can you find a link to the documentary, so we can listen online?


24 Oct 11 - 01:08 AM (#3243776)
Subject: RE: NZ National Radio: Joe Hill
From: Fossil

Joe, the programme details are:

"Wobblies Down Under", broadcast on NZ National radio at 10:05 on 24 October 2011.

The site offers downloads of the programme in the following formats: Ogg Vorbis (whatever *that* is!); mp3; Embed. Go to "internet" and you should get it.

The following describes the programme on site:
The Swedish-American radical socialist, songster and poet Joe Hill, became a martyr for the working classes world-wide when he was executed in 1915 for a murder he almost certainly did not commit. His ashes were distributed around the world including New Zealand but no trace of them has ever been found here. Researcher Jared Davidson set out to track them down but in the process uncovered the story of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, known as the 'Wobblies') and their repression in New Zealand during the early 1900s and World War 1.
From Wobblies Down Under on 24 Oct, 2011 (47′06″)
Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Hope that's helpful - Fossil

24 Oct 11 - 05:29 PM (#3244136)
Subject: RE: NZ National Radio: Joe Hill
From: Bob the Postman

Here's the blickie.