Joe Hill - chords, tab and comments

At the bottom you'll find a link to the complete lyrics.

Born in Gävle, Sweden 7th of October 1879, Joe Hill aka Joel Emmanuel Hägglund aka Joseph Hillström emigrated to USA in 1902 and became a labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as the Wobblies). 19th of November 1915 he was executed for murder after a controversial trial ... almost 100 years later they still maintain the legend. Most probably the radical swede hobo was the perfect scapegoat for an incompetent judicial system, and a victim to prejudice.
Alfred Hayes wrote this tribute poem about 1930, and 6 years later Earl Hawley Robinson came up with the famous tune. The song has been used and recorded by numerous artists, but most people associate it with Joan Baez - from Woodstock, 1969.
G                    G7
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
C               G
alive as you or me
     C                 Bm          E7/9
says I : but Joe, you're ten years dead
  A7    A7+6      D
I never died says he
  D7              G
I never died says he
His last poem, later set to music by Ethel Raim, is told to be:
- my will is easy to decide, for there is nothing to divide
my kin don't need to fuss and moan : "moss does not cling to a rolling stone"
my body? oh if I could choose : I would to ashes it reduce
and let the merry breezes blow my dust to where some flowers grow
perhaps some fading flower then would come to life and bloom again
this is my last and final will : good luck to all of you ... Joe Hill -
G major
G seventh
C major
A seventh
A sixth add seventh
E seventh add nine
D major
D seventh
B minor
Earl Robinson
Alfred Hayes