Folk Thursday: Joe Hill

I’ve probably posted this before. I don’t care. Although it addresses a different issue, that line about “what they could never kill went on to organize” went through my head when Trayvon Martin’s murderer was acquitted. As I was dinking around with the guitar tonight, I mentioned that to Ron, who said, “What about Michael Brown?”

To which I responded with:

I dreamed I saw Mike Brown last night, alive as you and me.
Says I, “But Mike, you’re 10 weeks dead.”
“I never died,” says he. “I never died,” says he.

“Darren Wilson killed you, Mike; he shot you, Mike,” says I.
“Takes more than guns to kill a man,”
Says Mike, “I didn’t die.” Says Mike, “I didn’t die.”

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

From Ferguson on up to Maine, in every street and town
Where innocents defend their rights
It’s there you’ll find Mike Brown, it’s there you’ll find Mike Brown.

I dreamed I saw Mike Brown last night, alive as you and me.
Says I, “But Mike, you’re 10 weeks dead.”
“I never died,”says he. “I never died,” says he.

This is why I’m a folkie. I really wish the songs I love would become obsolete. I really want them to be quaint relics of the past. But every day, they become more relevant. And until they’re not, I will keep singing them.

I’ve got a lot of horses in this race: kids I adore who are at risk of being hurt or killed solely because of the color of their skin, and cops I interview regularly who are at greater risk of being hurt or killed every time a member of their profession is involved in an unnecessary shooting.

And the middle of it all, I watched a video the other night of a former colleague being arrested at a protest.

Listen, society: Mama Bear’s gettin’ real sick of your shit. I need ALL my cubs safe.

Emily

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