Talk:Joe Hill

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tribute song by Ochs[edit]

Woody Guthrie never sang Phil Ochs' tribute song. Ochs wrote the song probably around 1967, Guthrie was unable to sing at that time because of Huntingdon's chorea. Guthrie died in oktober 1967. The song Joe Hill appeared in 1968 on a record. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wauzert (talkcontribs) 11:33, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Pete Seeger never sang Ochs'tribute song (he did sang the Alfred Hayes Poem). Neither Hayes poem or Ochs'song tells about 30000 people attending the burial. The whole sentence was deleted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wauzert (talkcontribs) 14:22, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't it say Swedish-American rather than American in the begininng as he was actually born in Sweden (and lived there for the first ~20 years of his life). I could be wrong. // Knarris —Preceding comment was added at 21:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Hill's will[edit]

I just found a pdf scan of the original of Joe's will in a NY Times article: The pdf is linked to from that page, along with several others. Seems like it would be an appropriate thing to include in this article, but I don't know how to add a document, and online newspaper articles notoriously disappear quickly. I also don't know enough about copyright issues. I know there's no copyright on the original words, but does NY Times have any copyright on the scan? Here's the pdf link: Does anybody know the right way to add this? --DavidJField 20:37, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Good find! I'm going to meditate on this and find the best way to incorporate it into Wikipedia. --JerryOrr 19:54, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Alright, seems that it does not have a copyright (scanning a document does not constitute creativity, and thus does not establish a new copyright, see Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.). I've uploaded it to Wikimedia Commons at Wikimedia:Image:Joe_Hill_will.pdf, and I'm going to incorporate it into the article. --JerryOrr 21:20, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I removed the description of "Sweet Bye and Bye" as a "Salvation Army" hymn. Was it written originally for that orgainzation? I know it was popular in many more contexts in the early 20th century, to being played in churches, at funerals, and by brass bands. It's still in the "jazz funeral" repertory here in New Orleans, and is sometimes played as a dance number as well. (Alas I've not yet persuaded any band I play with to perform it with the Joe Hill lyrics...) -- Infrogmation 04:49, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Here's a chuckle. I like wikipedia and thought to mention it to my housemate. He had never seen it, so I told him the URL and he pulled up the main Wikipedia page. He said, "Hmm. Why did they put my name here?"

I responded, "hwa? What do you mean?" and went to look at his monitor. There, on the bottom of the last line at the last location of the "Selected Articles" (because it was an anniversary) was his name, clear as day. You've guessed the punch line: he's named Joe Hill.

I'm wondering about the text of the song listed here... If it was published in 1925, it's still copyrighted in the United States. Does anyone have more detail on the copyright status of the song? - Seth Ilys 14:42, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Google gives a number of dates for the song, from 1925 to 1940 or after. As far as I can tell, the poem was written by Hayes in '25, and the song in the 1930s by Earl Robinson. That's what this link says, at any rate [1]. Since the account apparently from a songwriter suggests that it was a more or less impromptu thing, I assume either that Hayes never copyrighted the poem (necessary for anything published before 1978) or that it circulated with his blessing. -- Smerdis of Tlön 16:29, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)
That's right... it momentarily slipped my mind: works published that early had to have a copyright notice attached. Given that additional detail, it sounds fine; I just wanted to clarify. Thanks... - Seth Ilys 16:52, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I added the lines to the song "sweet bye and bye" as without them the satyrical nature of the song is lost. --Edzillion 23:44, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

A question I've raised on the Alfred Hayes talk page too: Can it really be true that the poem I Dreamed I saw Joe Hill Last Night was written in 1925? According to Guerilla Minstrels (Hampton, Tennessee) it was written c. 1930. Also, in 1925 Hayes was only 14 years old. Any thoughts? -- Hestemand 21:37, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

The "influence and tributes" section mentions versions of the song Joe Hill by several different artists, however I've heard a version claiming to be by Woody Guthrie (it was a file-share download, so no guarantee) which isn't mentioned. It could be that it was mislabelled and is in fact the version by Pete Seeger with Woody's son Arlo, can anyone shed any lighto n this? 15:11, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

"Don't mourn, organize!"[edit]

Were they his very last words? Or were they just the last words to his supporters? (or both?) I'm sure people who know the answer to this think the wording is clear but it isn't exactly.

I read that his last word was immediately before he was executed by a firing squad in Utah: "Fire!" This was from Wobblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World, from the "Joe Hill" chapter. - Danspalding 02:50, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I believe that "Don't mourn, organize!" is a paraphrase of a letter sent from Joe to Big Bill Haywood.--Thelema12 (talk) 23:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

On the last words again: the review in The Economist (August 6, 2011) of William Adler's new biography of Hill quotes his last words as "Don't waste time in mourning. Organize!" I haven't read Adler's book, but someone may want to dig into whether this version or "Fire!" gets it right. Nandt1 (talk) 23:09, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Note: The first external link ("I.W.W. tribute page to Joe Hill") seems to be broken. (April 8, 2005)

It says that the police believed it to be a crime of revenge because nothing had been stolen and then below that it states that Hill denied being involved in the robbery and murder. Was there a robbery and was Hill put on trial for robbery as well as murder?

Labor Perspective section[edit]

Though there is a lot of interesting content in the Labor Perspective section, I'm afraid it may have to be removed. My reasoning follows:

  1. Possible copyright violation - this material was apparantly copied from two sources (bio info from one source, lyrics from another). Though the section states that the content is reproduced at Wikipedia at the request of its author, there is no such evidence of such. If you look at the copyright policy, you'll see that in order to directly copy an author's work, the source must allow licensing under GFDL. However, since the links the section provides give a 404 error, there's no proof of such. Without proof that the author has given the content a GFDL license, this section is a copyright violation.
  2. Sources shouldn't be directly copied anyway - according to the Wikipedia guideline WP:NPS, "copying other reference works is generally not appropriate." (note: the sources considered "appropriate" are public domain encylopedias). Though wikilinks have been added, and the format is cleaned up some, the content has still (supposedly) been copied directly from the source, and thus goes against WP:NPS. One might consider adding the source text to Wikisource and citing that, but it would probably be easier to just link to the original source. Plus, Wikipedia is not a mirror.
  3. Much of the section violates the NPOV policy - statements such as "Plain and simple: Bill Spry and the State of Utah murdered Joe Hill" and "On November 19, 1915 the capitalists killed Joe Hill. Or so they thought. Joe lived much of his life like a vagabond poet and died like a rebel" are pretty cut-and-dry violations of WP:NPOV. Even when not making such obviously POV statements, however, the tone of much of the section is a more subtle violation of that policy.
  4. Duplication of content - Much of the biographical information in that section already exists earlier in the article. More importantly, the entire section breaks the flow of the article. It stands on its own, instead of being incorporated with the other content.
  5. Generally unencylopedic - a great deal of the content is unencyclopedic, including "If a complete lack of direct evidence hadn’t deterred the authorities, why would an alibi corroborated by just one person?" and "The robber barons gouged and clawed their way to the top, and damn well intended to stay there by the same means." This is simply not an appropriate tone for an encyclopedia.

Based on the reasoning given above, I'm going to remove the section if I don't receive any satisfactory objections. If I can dig up the actual source for the section, I may incorporate some of the content into this article; the original contributor is of course welcome to do the same (citing the sources appropriately, of course). There's some good content that ought to be incorporated into the article, but this section is just inappropriate as-is. --JerryOrr 14:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. -- Hestemand 20:23, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I also agree. The entire Labor Perspective section seems like a romanticized epitaph written by a union-friendly misanthrope. Why all the song lyrics? Do other song-writer articles have song after song listed within? I wouldn't be surprised if this section was word-for-word plagerism from some yet-to-be determined work. 18:17, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Seems like we came to a consensus; the section has been removed. Again, if the source of that info can be found, it may be worthwhile to incoporate some of the content into the article (properly cited, of course); if someone wishes to do so, I would not be opposed to it. --JerryOrr 19:00, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

The source of the material was a circa 2000 article in the Salt City Post, the official publication of the Central New York Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union AFL-CIO. Pursuant to the rules of the Postal Press Association, the organization of APWU local newspapwer editors, material is never copyrighted and is expressly available for reprints and citations. I am absolutely certain that neither the publication nor the author ever intended or made any effort to copyright or in any way limit the use of this material since I was, at that time, the editor of that publication and am the author. Yes, the material unquestionably speaks from a biased point of view. Including the assertion of Christ's divinity in any article on Jesus is certainly perspectional, but how could any such article be complete in its absence. Why deny the Labor Movement a perspective voice in something that is specifically a part of its heritage? The inclusion of many of Joe Hill's songs is no more inappropriate than including reproductions of Starry Night and the various self-portraits in an article on Van Gogh. I do agree that the text would be more appropriate as a linked article, however it appears no where on the internet. I will try, at some point, to incorporate the more informational parts of the essay into the encyclopedic text of the Wiki article. It will, unfortunately, be without citations, since I garnered the material from various sources on the net when it was written and didn't bibliographize them. I do think the preoccupation with citations is largely misplaced. Britannica does largely without them. And some sights are gratuitous. Should a listing of the findings of the Council of Nicaea require a notation and link to the published minutes thereof, which I suspect to be no longer extant? Moreover, citing as a source any article which does not itself reference its sources is an exercise in futility, once removed.--User:Clarkpark (Howard Evans) 1:, 11 May 2006

I understand your desire to include this material; I'm a part of Wikiproject Organized Labour, and I have a very strong interest in expanding Wikipedia's coverage of labor issues. However, even given what you have just said, the manner in which the Labor Perspective section was included was inappropriate for Wikipedia. Despite your response, all of the points I previously mentioned are still valid, even the copyright issue (we assume good faith at Wikipedia, but are much less lenient with copyright issues; we'd need better evidence that the material isn't copyrighted than your word). As I said, I think it would be great to incorporate some of this material into the article in a properly cited manner, but we cannot copy & paste. That you think "the preoccupation with citations is largely misplaced" is irrelevant; it is Wikipedia policy to cite your sources. If you have a problem with that, take it up on the policy's discussion page. --JerryOrr 12:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I understand the copyright issue, as well as the need to integrate the pertinent portions of the material. But, when the author tells you the material isn't copyrighted and you disagree, then, son, you're just playing with yourself. When the editor of a publication says its works are specifically and universally available for reprint and you disagree, you're using both hands. It's certainly doable to prove something is copyrighted, proving a negative is quite another undertaking. What do you propose? Do you want me to send you everything ever copyrighted and let you sort through it looking for anything close? I can't think of anything less that would actually prove lack of copyright. You're preoccupation is bureaucratic nonsense. My opinion may be irrelevant, but the dysfunctional fact remains. You might also note that there is a line between being direct and simply being rude; I'll let you guess which side of it you're on. Incidentally, the page you site for further discussion has nothing to do with this issue.--User:Clarkpark (Howard Evans) 1:, 15 May 2006

What exactly have I said that is rude? You've taken a reasonable discussion and turned it into something personal. If you're going to start hurling insults, we won't get anywhere; personal attacks are generally unproductive.
I think my point about the copyright issue stands, but I'll let it go for now. I still gave 4 other perfectly valid reasons as to why the section was inappropriate, citing the relevant Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Do you have any resolution to those issues?
Regarding the page I provided for further discussion: the policy of verifiability is the basis for "the preoccupation with citations" about which you complained. If you don't like the requirement to cite your sources, that would be the best place to take your complaints. You won't get the policy changed here. --JerryOrr 13:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The major problem is simply that it doesn't work just to copy-paste an entire essay etc. into an article. I agree that the lack of copyright on the piece is hard to prove, but this is really not relevant as it shouldn't have been merely copied in the first place but cited as JerryOrr has stressed. Also, the need to communicate the labor perspective doesn't justify POV statements. All in all, Clarkpark, you shouldn't take our comments as personal attacks, but rather that we want you to contribute with your knowledge on the subject; albeit in a manner fit for Wikipedia. -- Hestemand 13:58, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Don't be so bummed Clarkpark Wikipedia is official "what's in the books" history, the eggheads who run this thing have a hard time believing anything that isn't in a book somewhere, even if the book is wrong, you're right it is bureaucratic nonsense. Zeelog1

Long Black Veil?[edit]

Is there any source for the claim that the song "Long Black Veil" was inspired by Joe Hill? It seems obvious that the protagonist in LBV was hanged, and anyone familiar with Hill's life and death would know that he had been shot. Smerdis of Tlön 16:15, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

FWIW, we have an article on Long Black Veil (song) that says that LBV was written in 1959, and gives a completely different account of its inspiration. I am removing the reference. Smerdis of Tlön 16:18, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Preacher and the Slave[edit]

I removed the lyrics to the song - because I wrote an article about the song. I'm going back and forth as to whether my article is NPOV so feel free to look over it. Mujeresliebres 05:03, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


I dont think this is really the appropriate term to use, and IWW is the real name of the organization. "wobblies" was a term coined by their distractors. I suppose i'll wait a few days to hear opposing views before removing it. ThePedro 02:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The origin of the word "wobbly" is not known for certain. But it is not considered perjorative by most members of the IWW. RiFraS 16:19, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

According to my readings, the term "wobbly" was happily adopted by the IWW members themselves, even if it was originally created by distractors. -- 21:54, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, it's kind of like "Yankee Doodle"--a slur adopted with pride. Nareek 03:43, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I belong to two organizations which have taking the terms some consider pejorative and made them our own, since I'm a Wobbly and a Quaker. (But the idea that "Wobbly" is pejorative is definitely a minority opinion; the most popular theory is that it's a mispronunciation by an immigrant of 'Eye Double-You Double-You' IWW --Orange Mike 03:31, 13 August 2007 (UTC) (Milw. General Organizing Branch; I.U. 660)


Shouldn't the lead paragraph have some mention of his being a songwriter? Nom de guerre 07:19, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Joe Hill lyrics[edit]

Should these be transwikied to wikibooks or wikisource? Not sure on the protocols re this specific instance. --Storkk 21:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)


I don't know where all the recently discovered ashes ended up, but I do know there's an urn with some of his ashes in it at the IWW General Headquarters. (This office moved to Cincinatti at the beginning of 2006.) I saw them there in January. RiFraS 16:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I heard his ashes were divided - half were buried in Chicago at the Haymarket memorial, and half were scattered on the first anniversary of his death in every state but Utah, because Joe "wouldn't be cauught dead in Utah."--Thelema12 (talk) 23:03, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Deleted paragraph[edit]

Someone deleted this paragraph.

The case turned into a major media event. President Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, and Sweden all became involved in a bid for clemency. It generated international union attention, and critics charged that the trial and conviction were unfair. Much later the state of Utah declared that under their law today, Joe Hill would not have been executed based on the evidence presented at his trial.

I considered reversing the edit, but the last sentence is much too vague and sounds like conjecture. If it is true, it should be added in again, with clarification and appropriate references. Richard Myers 00:38, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

you should have used the cite tag, and either they provide citations, which should be available, or after a few weeks you delete it. --Buridan 13:04, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
done Tvoz | talk 14:34, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I provided a link to saying almost word for word what needed citation. I don't know the technical details in making references, so there's no additional information, just the link.

The Tramp[edit]

I am surprised the article does not mention the song "The Tramp", on the same tune as the religious song Jesus Loves the Little Children. [2] these song lyrics I think is what Hill is most remembered for on Sweden/Swedish language context. // habj 19:00, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Should we include a general list of songs by Joe Hill? We could start with: Jacob Haller 01:51, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

  • "There is Power in a Union"
  • "The Preacher and the Slave" [aka "Pie in the Sky"] [Brechler; see below]
  • "Casey Jones the Union Scab"
  • "It's a Long Way Down to the Soupline"
  • "Workers of the World Awaken"
  • "The Rebel Girl"
  • "Stung Right"
  • "Mr. Block"
  • "Coffee An'"
  • "Where the Fraser River Flows"
  • "Scissor Bill"
  • "We Will Sing One Song,
  • "What We Want"
  • "Nearer My Job to Thee"
  • "Ta-Ra-Ra Boom De-Ay"
  • "The Rebel's Toast"
  • "Workers, Shall the Masters Rule Us" [written by "Frank Brechler;" one of Joe Hill's pen names, Kornbluh, p. 179]
  • "John Golden and the Lawrence Strike"

Geographic location needed in first section[edit]

Hi, would it be possible to add a geographic location/identifier to the first (intro) section about Mr. Hill. It would make it easier for people to see if this Mr. Hill is the Mr. Hill they are hoping to learn about...I know the whole idea of the IWW was transnationalism...but here in the world still bound by the nation-state, it would help to have it say right away something like "Mr. Hill was a citizen of X country" or "Mr. Hill was best known for his work in X and Y country." I'd make the changes myself, but I'm kind of new around here, so I don't want to mess anything up...anyway, my two cents. Many thanks for your consideration. 14:32, 20 November 2007 (UTC)Smithe26 (talk)

Hill wasn't exactly an anarchist[edit]

With all respect to Lquilter, I understand anarchism just fine, and socialism as well, and I am quite able to distinguish the two. (There is quite a large difference.) Joe Hill described himself as a socialist, wrote for socialist journals, was a member of a socialist organization and is generally considered to be a socialist by every source I've ever seen. Never seen him described as an anarchist except here. If you know of some other information or some source I don't, please share. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:11, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Please sign your messages here.
I'm not surprised that both the anarchists and the socialists wish to claim Joe Hill. That doesn't justify an editing war.
I think Joe Hill shared some ideas from anarchism and from socialism. However, in my view, whether either claim is appropriate here is not yet demonstrated. Let us please deal with some specifics, rather than vague statements.
What we know for certain is that as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Joe Hill was an industrial unionist. That is not the same thing as an anarchist, although the IWW has some anarchist roots. It is also not the same thing as socialism, except in the broadest sense.
If Joe Hill wrote for socialist journals, which were they? If he was a member of a socialist organization, which organization was that? Richard Myers 17:47, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree that Hill could be described as either, both, or neither; things weren't quite as hard-line defined back in Joe Hill's day. FWIW, I didn't revert over a substantive concern or belief that JH is better described as A than S, but because the anonymous editor used in its edit summary some reference to Joe Hill's fabled last words, "Don't mourn; organize!" and suggested those wouldn't be the words of an anarchist. (diff) That suggests some confusion about the principles of anarchism, which are not in opposition to organizing or organization or anything like that. Since the editor didn't offer any substantive explanation for the change other than the false one, I couldn't assess the substantive merits of the A-to-S change. ... Anyway, if the anonymous editor can adduce better cites, that would be great. Alternatively, perhaps "socialist/anarchist" would be accurate. Or, frankly, even better would be to leave "S" or "A" out altogether and just closely describe him as IWW/trade unionist. He associated with socialists and anarchists but his closest association was with the Wobblies who have strong ties to both. --Lquilter 17:52, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
The bottom line is determined by this simple question: "Did Joe Hill ever self-identify as an anarchist." The answer is no, despite the fact that I'm sure he knew of anarchists and anarchism. Yet we still have no record of him announcing his alleged anarchist stance. The burden does not fall on others to prove he was an anarchist. It falls on anyone who would attempt to do so to find the statement made in his words. It is all well and good to say he was anarchic. So was William Godwin. But Godwin was not a self-identified anarchist, and apparently neither was Hill. I'm removing all anarchist related categories from him. Find a source in which he is labeled an anarchist, and we can at least add him to the list of anarchists under the section for those who have been labeled as such. However, I agree with you on every other point. There was a clear bias in the deletion made by the aforementioned anonymous editor. Both titles (socialist and anarchist) should be excluded until there is any citation.--Cast (talk) 05:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Anarchism is still a type of socialism among other types of socialism. They aren't mutually exclusive terms. The 1st socialist international split was between anarchists and marxists, not anarchists and socialists. -- (talk) 05:25, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Year of birth?[edit]

I'm getting confused. This article says that Joe Hill was born on October 7, 1879, yet the link claims that he was born in 1882. Almost all the links related to the history of Joe Hill besides that one are innaccessible or broken. I want to know which year of birth is more correct, and if so, if you would fix all the links to Joe Hill, please. --Angeldeb82 (talk) 15:57, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Unless there's a clear consensus, we should cite both dates. Whom are you asking the fix the links? Wikipedia is not a "you", it's an "us". :) - JasonAQuest (talk) 14:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


He was certainly a lyricist, but I don't think he wrote any original melodies. He should be called a lyricist, not a songwriter. Kingturtle (talk) 04:53, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

"Songwriter" refers to someone who writes lyrics, music, or both; it's a general term. As long as he's not called a "composer", it's correct. - JasonAQuest (talk) 14:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

President Wilson[edit]

If President Wilson was so concerned, why didn't he simply pardon Hill? Kingturtle (talk) 04:53, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I believe Presidential pardons are limited to federal crimes; murder is a state crime, so only the governor has jurisdiction for celemency/pardon. - JasonAQuest (talk) 14:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
You're right. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:26, 5 August 2008 (UTC) (IWW I.U. 660; Milwaukee G.O.B.)
Can someone make mention of this in this article - so the reader doesn't wonder what I wondered. Kingturtle (talk) 17:45, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Sure... what are you waiting for? :) - JasonAQuest (talk) 03:35, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Joe Hill in "tall tales and folklore"[edit]

I have mixed feelings about this inclusion because the "tall tales" description is misleading when referring to historical figures. Discussion, anyone? Richard Myers (talk) 17:22, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it's bizarre; I've reverted it and left a note to the editor asking for an explanation. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:45, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Category "executed anarchists"[edit]

The words "anarchy" or "anarchist" appear nowhere in the article. Is the category "executed anarchists" supported? -- AvatarMN (talk) 09:10, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Good question. I wouldn't rule it out; the IWW philosophy has some anarchist roots, and a number of IWW members describe themselves as anarchists. However, that doesn't automatically mean that Joe Hill was, or considered himself, an anarchist, in my view. I have a good friend who is researching Joe Hill. I'll see if i can get some clarification. Richard Myers (talk) 14:42, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Got a response from my friend. I think there isn't yet sufficient evidence to declare that Joe Hill either was, or was not an anarchist. He was acquainted with anarchists, and fought on their side in Baja shortly before the Mexican Revolution. Richard Myers (talk) 04:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I deleted it as unsourced, then. -- AvatarMN (talk) 15:31, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Inappropriate Removal of an Appropriate Link[edit]

To whom it may concern: Music is a social activity. To appreciate the power of music, one needs to do more than to read lyrics or to listen to a recording. Music appreciation requires a relationship connecting performer and audience; music appreciation requires one to perform the music. Consequently, I have endeavored to make it possible for others to perform the songs of Joe Hill to get a better appreciation of the man's life work. This endeavor does not involve any money transaction, and it provides historical information not currently available anywhere else. Thus, it is a very appropriate resource for those who want to learn about Joe Hill who go to WIKIPEDIA. It is in no way self-promotion or advertising because there is nothing being sold. Yet the link was removed for these reasons. Politicalfolkmusic (talk) 01:46, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

It's a possible conflict of interest though and also possible advertising. By the fact that your name is the same name as the website it could come across as advertising. I know you're saying that you're not trying to do this, but it does look like promotion. That's where the problem would be --5 albert square (talk) 01:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

And what exactly am I trying to promote? Knowledge? Accurate information? Check the content of the link. There is nothing inappropriate with the content, and there is nothing to promote. There is nothing for sale. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Politicalfolkmusic (talkcontribs) 02:10, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

But if your name is the same as the website and you keep trying to add the links, it may be viewed that you are trying to promote/advertise your website. --5 albert square (talk) 02:24, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia has chronic problems with people whose sole interest in the site is using it to promote their own. For this reason, it has policies for external links, which include giving links to a person's own web site extra scrutiny. (Unfortunately some people think that means "extra prejudice". 5AS: Don't say "it's possible" and "it may be viewed". Check.) I have checked the web site, and I think the link is of value to the article. The article does already have a link to a site with Hill's lyrics, which would make it an unnecessary duplication, but the site also contains sheet music and recordings of it being played, which help one understand how Hill's lyrics were sung. So I'm adding the link back. To PFM: if you see other articles which you think would be improved by a link to your site, rather than adding it yourself suggest it on the Discussion/Talk page for that article, and let another editor add it if s/he agrees that it improves the article for the reader. (Making other contributions to the articles and elsewhere on this site would also help demonstrate that you aren't simply trying to boost traffic to your own.) -Jason A. Quest (talk) 13:36, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually I did check, that's how I found out that the website has the exact same name as the user. That's why I said that it may be viewed that they are trying to promote their own website. I said "may be viewed" because I assumed good faith and assumed that the user was not trying to promote their own website. I was actually trying to point out to the user that it might be a good idea to look into changing their username as it may be in breach of Wikipedia's username policies if it's seen as promotional. --5 albert square (talk) 13:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I am unable to find any suggestion from you of a username change, just vague and unhelpful warnings about the appearance of impropriety. The initial reversion of his link was justified, for the reason you state: it looked purely self-promotional. But after the editor argued on the Talk page that it was of value to the article (which is in the spirit of the protocol for adding a link with a perceived conflict of interest), the appropriate response was to "Treat the user's suggestion on its merits, rather than trying to assess the conflict of interest itself." [emphasis in original] Fortunately someone was willing to take a minute to do that. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 15:16, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I note that Politicalfolkmusic has been permanently blocked. I'd like to know the reason. I happen to be interested in the same articles, and i saw the external website as possibly a worthwhile contribution, even considering the probability of self-promotion. My point is not that the external link is necessarily appropriate, but rather, that it may be appropriate, and a permanent block is a severe penalty for what appear to me to be good faith edits, even if they also happen to be self-promotional. Richard Myers (talk) 21:39, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I find that block astonishing, possibly the most WP:BITEy action I've seen on Wikipedia in months. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 22:21, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
The nameblock was a no-brainer, given the persistently promotional nature of his/her edits. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:10, 22 December 2010 (UTC)


How strange, that Philip S. Foner would think Hill as innocent as a newborn baby! Of course, Hill may have been innocent and only a victim of drummed up charges, but isn't it a bit naive to believe Foner in such a matter? --Radh (talk) 11:28, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

We quote Foner's views; that doesn't mean we endorse them. (Personally, I certainly believe Joe was railroaded by a hostile judge in cahoots with the copper bosses; but then, I'm a Wob.) --Orange Mike | Talk 14:09, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't it have been both? Did he throw away his gun? Wasn't it strange that the man who wounded him didn't come foreward? But I certainly won't argue one way or the other.--Radh (talk) 14:37, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Merging "Don't mourn, organize!"‎ into "Joe Hill"[edit]

It has been suggested that the nascent article Don't mourn, organize!‎ be merged into Joe Hill.

  • OPPOSE The expression is ubiquitous, not only in the labor movement, but is also in use by all sorts of peace and justice organizations and NGO's. It now has a life of its own. If it is merged, then it becomes likely that all sorts of movements, causes, and passions wherein this expression is invoked will be added to the article about the expression. Many of these will have little or nothing to do with Joe Hill, nor with the Industrial Workers of the World to whom he first expressed this idea (in a slightly different form). An account of his use of Don't mourn, organize! is certainly relevant to the Joe Hill article, but this article should not be merged, as in doing so, it will eventually need to be split off again. Richard Myers (talk) 11:51, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • SUPPORT - I'm rather skeptical of creating articles for slogans and catchphrases. In most cases there is little to say about them except to recount their origin (in this case, all about Joe Hill), followed by a rather pointless catalog of random instances in which it was quoted... which that article is already starting to do. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 13:32, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • oppose— everything you say about articles for catchphrases may be quite reasonable, and even true. it's not a reason to move that material to this article, though. what happened with the phrase after he died has very little to do with him. i don't see anything wrong with that article that can't be fixed by ordinary editing, anyway, but that's neither here nor there. — alf.laylah.wa.laylah (talk) 15:01, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
    What's wrong with that article can only be solved by deleting it; merging it with a redirect is a more constructive way of doing that. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 15:23, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
what you say makes some sense, but i don't see a place for most of that material in this article. i'll think about it some more. — alf.laylah.wa.laylah (talk) 16:46, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • oppose What does it have to do with Joe Hill besides Joe Hill being the first one to use this phrase? A merge into Joe Hill's article would make no sense. It makes about as much sense as the proposal a few years ago to merge the Ottawa Panhandlers Union article with the article on the Industrial Workers of the World. Oppose, Oppose OPPOSE!TurtleMelody (talk) 20:52, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

"Influence and tributes" section[edit]

Since the 1st two items appear to refer to the same song, I wanted to merge them. However, I got a notice that there was an error with the < ref > tag, so backed off making a change. Please either merge the two items or make it clearer in the second item that "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" is the song you are speaking of: there's confusion in the opening sentences as to what song you're talking about. Thanks, Wordreader (talk) 23:20, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

"Joe Hill" (Song)[edit]

Many artists have sung the song "Joe Hill" that is referred to in this article. However, there is no specific article about the song, the way that there ARE specific articles about many other songs. Such an article should be created and the many album and artist pages that include a reference to the song should refer to that article. And that article should incorporate the parts of this page which are specifically relevant to the song. ElbonianFL (talk) 03:44, 22 November 2012 (UTC)


There's no information in the article yet about Hill's revolutionary activity in Mexico, which seems pretty significant. I don't know the details of this though, so I'm just noting that there's probably information on it somewhere, and hoping someone can add it in. djr13 (talk) 17:28, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Birth Reference[edit]

In the opening paragraph it states: "Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden, and also known as Joseph Hillström (October 7, 1879[1]" There are a couple items that need clarification: 1. Hillström was a name used in the U.S. Although it is a typical Swedish surname, Joe did not go by that name in Sweden. I have seen the the birth and christening entry for him, and followed him in the Swedish household examination records up to his emigration in 1902. He never went by Hillström in Sweden. I suggest it should read "and also known as Joseph Hillström (in U.S. sources)".

2. The reference number [1] should be a source citation for his birth. Right now it points to a site called which is a collaborative project about Joe Hill (a secondary biographical source.) The primary source for the birth of Joe Hill is the birth and christening records of Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet parish. Digital copy seen in Arkiv Digital: Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet CI:22a (1879-1884) Bild 60/sid 57 (AID: v134985.b60.s57, NAD: SE/HLA/1010056). G. Froberg Morris (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 20:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Worker's Song[edit]

There is a claim that this song was originally composed and performed by the Scottish singer-songwriter Dick Gaughan, but I can spot nothing about it in the article on him. Does anyone know more about this than I do?

If I get no reaction to this in the next few days, I shall remove the claim. LynwoodF (talk) 13:40, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

I think I have already got to the bottom of this one. See Dick Gaughan's Song Archive. I shall amend the article accordingly. LynwoodF (talk) 13:54, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Father's name[edit]

Ever since I started watching this page there has been confusion about Hill's father's name. Some online sources give Olaf and others give Olof, e.g. this site. As the normal Swedish form of the name is Olof, I venture to suggest that this is the most likely. LynwoodF (talk) 10:28, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Joe Hill/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

so wass he gultiy or not

Last edited at 23:38, 7 June 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 19:58, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Reverted previous edit[edit]

i just reverted the previous edit, as its revisions were, in my view, unnecessary (such as adding the "which" template to the sentence "His life and death have inspired books and poetry," which are quite extensively listed in the article) or unencyclopedic (Particularly, claiming that he was "variously celebrated as a martyr or a villain").

It's possible that other revisions were made, but—because a one-sentence "paragraph" was interpolated above the others—it was indicated that all of the introductory paragraphs had been substantially revised, so it was very difficult to ascertain what they were.

Anyone can feel free to let me know if they disagree with my reversion.

Crsini (talk) 13:33, 25 December 2016 (UTC)