Daily Archives: December 17, 2012

The Ballad of Joe Hill, Our CD and Rehearsal for Truro Cathedral

1  I’ve mentioned before in this post about the beautiful poem, ‘Afterwards’ by Thomas Hardy, that my parents chose together to be read at each of their funerals.   My lovely Dad who died 8 years ago today also chose the beautiful voice of Paul Robeson singing The Ballad of Joe Hill to be played for him and every 17th December, I sing the song along with Paul Robeson in honour of my Dad.  Do click on the link and listen and sing along too if you’ve a mind to.

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 Joe “I didn’t die.”   Says Joe “I didn’t die.”

And standing there as big as life
and smiling with his eyes.
Says Joe, “What they can never kill
went on to organize,  went on to organize.”

From San Diego up to Maine,
in every mine and mill,
where workers fight and organise
It’s there you find Joe Hill,  it’s there you find Joe Hill!

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.  I never died” says he.

I grew up hearing and loving Paul Robeson’s voice and in the year that my Dad lived in Cornwall before we were able to join him (I was only 6 years old) Mum played ‘Just a Wearyin’ for you’ every evening and it can still bring me to tears as I remember how much I missed my Dad and it’s only now that I realise that she wasn’t playing it for me but for herself. How they must have missed each other that year. They’d already had 5 years apart during the war and now Mum had three of us to look after and a fourth on the way who was born just 10 weeks before we eventually moved to Cornwall and were all together again and living by Pill Creek as I wrote about here.

2  This beautiful thing is a day or two late but we have the CD that our choir, The Ingleheart Singers, have made and it’s good! Copies are now winging their way to Hawaii, to Atlanta, to Munich and to London to my far-flung family

A Celebration of Christmas by The Ingleheart Singers

A Celebration of Christmas by The Ingleheart Singers

3   A super rehearsal tonight ready for our gig in Truro Cathedral on Wednesday evening and for our singing at a wedding on Saturday.


Tags: , , , , , , ,