Thursday, March 7, 2024

#67 / Advice From 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

Yesterday, I was quoting Naomi Klein, who advised us that words are not enough. We have to organize, she said. I know she's right. I have said it before, not so long ago.

"Don't mourn, organize" is an expression abridged from a statement by labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill. Hill wrote the full statement in a telegram he sent to Bill Haywood: "Goodbye, Bill, I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!"

You can see the full lyrics for a song about Joe Hill - "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" -  by clicking that link. I put one verse at the top of this blog posting. The song is based on a poem by Alfred Hayes, put to music by Earl Robinson. You can listen to Joan Baez sing the song at the 1969 Woodstock Folk Music Festival by clicking that link below. 

Self-government, should we care to keep it around, does require that we put a premium on that word that Naomi Klein highlighted in the newspaper interview I wrote about yesterday. Joe Hill - a lot earlier than that - put his finger on it, too. No use feeling sorry for ourselves. We know what we need to do!


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