Joe Hill (Ralph Chaplin)

“Joe Hill” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Joe Hill” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Ralph Chaplin.
Tune: “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.”

High head and back unbending, fearless and true,
Into the night unending; why was it you?
Heart that was quick with song torn with their lead;
Life that was young and strong, shattered and dead.

Singer of manly songs, laughter and tears;
Singer of Labor’s wrongs, joys, hopes and fears.
Though you were one of us, what could we do?
Joe, there was none of us needed like you.

We gave, however small, what Life could give;
We would have given all that you might live.
Your death you held as naught, slander and shame;
We from the very thought shrank as from flame.

Each of us held his breath, tense with despair;
You, who were close to death, seemed not to care.
White-headed, loathsome power, knowing no pause,
Sinking in Labor’s flower murderous claws.

Boastful with leering eyes, blood-dripping jaws….
Accurst be the cowardice hidden in laws!
Utah has drained your blood; white hands are wet;
We of the “surging flood” never forget!

Our songster! Have your laws now had their fill?
Know ye, his songs and cause, ye cannot kill!
High head and back unbending, “rebel true blue,”
Into the night unending; why was it you?

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