It seems that you can find out lots of interesting information on the Internet. I'm listening to Sally Timms and Jon Langford's Songs of False Hope and High Values, and got curious about the story behind the fantastic "Joshua Gone Barbados." The song is apparently about a sugarcane workers' strike called by Ebenezer Joshua, Prime Minister of St. Vincent. Karl Eklund in that entry gives the details of the strike and the characters and neighborhoods mentioned; he's much more sympathetic to Joshua than the song is. He has more detail in the other entries on his St. Vincent blog.
The songwriter, Eric von Schmidt, died just earlier this month; here's a long profile of him. Here's few more links; this (scroll down to Dec. 9) is especially illuminating about why Joshua went to Barbados.Posted by Matt Weiner at February 27, 2007 05:08 PM