Where Does The Phrase "Pie In The Sky" Come From? A Song By The Wobblies


Who were the Wobblies?

Even if you haven't ever referred to an idea as being a "pie in the sky," you've definitely heard the phrase. On its face, it's unclear why an airborne dessert is so desirable, but it comes from a pro-union songwriter who was sharpening his knives for the Salvation Army. Okay, that doesn't help much, either. Let us explain.

Source: YouTube

Joe Hill, the originator of the phrase, was a folk singer and member of the somewhat redundantly named Industrial Workers of the World, better known as the Wobblies. They're an international union of anarchists, socialists, Marxists, and radical trade unionists whose inaugural meeting became known as "the Continental Congress of the working class." Recognizing the heightened staying power of music over simple chants, Hill wrote songs for the Wobblies to sing during protests.