from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A fanciful notion; ludicrous concept; the illusory promise of a desired outcome that is unlikely to happen.
1911, phrase originally in reference to the promises of religion taken from a song written by Joe Hill, "The Preacher and the Slave", a parody of the Salvation Army hymn "In the Sweet By and By". Hill was associated with the Industrial Workers of the World (commonly known as the Wobblies), who organized migrant laborers. When the workers returned to the cities, they faced the Salvation Army. (Wiktionary)