American labor has always had its troubadours, most of them writing and singing away in the same obscurity as the working people they've championed. Legendary songwriter and organizer Joe Hill was an itinerant laborer in the early 1900s when he turned an otherwise harmless ditty about an engineer named Casey Jones into a pro-union anthem, and transformed the pious "Sweet Bye and Bye" into a stinging satire on preachers who ignored their congregations' suffering ("You'll get pie in the sky when you die"). Hill understood that, when it came to agitating, flyers and pamphlets get tossed aside, but a good tune burrows inside the brain... More >>>