<< Song List
Scatter My Ashes
Out Of The Woodwork V
© August 10, 2005 by Gary E. Andrews
All Right Reserved for the Globe

D XXO232
C/G bass 332O1O
G 32OOO3

Once upon a time, You could ask anyone.
They all knew my name, And the comfort of my guns.
We stood against corruption, And the Evil Ones,
Who set out to steal our creed, And enslave our sons.
If you had been where I've gone, And seen what I saw,
You'd know to
(Chorus refrain)
Scatter My Ashes everywhere, But Utah.
(Instrumental interlude)

No, I'm not a ghost; just a memory of one.
(It's) been so long ago, It's almost forgotten,
How, with bullets dipped in greed, They shot into the sun,
To leave us all down here to bleed, In darkness, On the run!
I'm not askin' you to go and break the law.
Just Scatter My Ashes everywhere, But Utah!

Carry me through Wyoming, Into the Great White North.
Spill me out into the winds. Let me issue forth!
Let the lightning storm, nature, raging, raw!
Scatter My Ashes everywhere, Anywhere but Utah!
Scatter My Ashes everywhere, But Utah!
Scatter My Ashes, Everywhere but Utah!

(Now) Utah is hallowed ground, good earth for to grow!
A place to raise your children, So long as you don't go,
Against the grain of greed, Of those who run it all!
They got their grubby hands, On the powers of the law!
If my son grows up, Tell him of his Pa,
'n Scatter My Ashes everywhere, But Utah!
Scatter My Ashes everywhere, Anywhere but Utah!
Scatter My Ashes everywhere, But Utah!

More Info...
Scatter My Ashes August 10, 2005 by Gary E. Andrews
All Rights Reserved For The Globe

In his book, "Bob Dylan Chronicles, Volume I, he tells of intending to write a song about union organizer and troubadour Joe Hill, whose final words to a friend were, "Scatter my ashes anywhere but Utah." I thought I might research Hill's story so I might write an informed song. But the muse arrived before I go around to research. She's so fine I always drop what I'm doing and let her in. Hope Bob doesn't mind. She may have been on the way to his house. Songs don't have to be about the people they're about anyway; just fictions that get "a" story told, not necessarily "the" story. She gave me the rhyme lines for the quote, which Dylan said he would use as a refrain to end each verse.

I played them on my Martin ONY16, then typed it out, writing new lines as I typed, not my usual guitar-in-hand, ad lib lyric, usual creative style.

I had an idea a choire could ask, "Anywhere?," after the lead says "anywhere," and the lead could come back to specify, "Anywhere but Utah!"

I later asked the internet about Joe Hill. I got a lot of 2005 Joe Hills' news. Then I entered "Scatter My Ashes..." A website said the quote was from a letter Joe Hillstrom (1877-79?-1915) wrote "to a pal" from jail before they hanged him November 19, 1915. He wrote something like, "After they hang me, get my body and have it cremated. Then scatter my ashes everywhere, anywhere but Utah. I wouldn't wanna be caught dead in Utah."
He advised, "Don't mourn! Organize!"

Hill was framed by authorities in league with mine owners where he was trying to organize a union for safety's sake. It seems a man named Morrisson was killed in the robbery of his grocery store. Two men were arrested in the train yards. But Joe had the importunity to get himself shot that same night and a doctor reported it. They latched onto him. He tried to fire his lawyer for pleading him guilty. The judge wouldn't allow it. I can see how that would piss a man off. So Utah is hallowed ground, and it's no fault of anyone alive today that such an injustice took place then; but such injustices continue to be perpetrated and that may be our fault for not knowing Joe's story and preventing it from being repeated.