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John Henry

Uncle-B & Auntie-E & J-DOG
American folk song


Listen to my story. Ya know that it's a story that's true.

It's about a mighty man, John Henry was his name.

John Henry was a steel driver too, Lord, Lord. (2X)


When John Henry was about three days old, a settin' on his pappy's knee,

he picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel.

Said hammer's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord. (2X)


Well, the man that invented the steamdrill, he thought he was mighty fine.

But John Henry drove fifteen feet.

The steamdrill only made nine, Lord, Lord.  (2X)


Well, the captain said to John Henry, I'm gonna bring that steamdrill round.

Gonna bring that steam drill out on the job.

Gonna whup that steel on down, Lord, Lord. (2X)


Well, John Henry said to the captain, a man ain't nothin' but a man.

Before I'd let your steamdrill beat me down,

I'd die with a hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord. (2X)


Well, John Henry told his captain, look a yonder what I see.

Your drill's done broke and your hole's done choked.

It can't drive steel like me, Lord, Lord (2X)


John Henry had a little woman.  Her name was Evie-Ann.

John Henry got sick and he had to go to bed.

But Evie-Ann drove steel like a man, Lord, Lord (2X)


John Henry hammered in the mountains. His hammer was striking fire.

But he worked so hard it broke his poor heart

and he laid down his hammer and he died, Lord, Lord (2X)


They took John Henry to the old church yard,

and they buried him in the sand.

And every engine comes a roarin' by,

whistles there lies a steel drivin' man, Lord, Lord (2X)


Well, every Monday mornin', when the bluebirds begin to sing

you can hear John Henry a mile or more.

You can hear his hammer ring, Lord, Lord (2X)