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John Henry

E When John Henry was a little baby,
sittin’ on his papa’s B7* knee,
He E picked up a hammer
and a A little piece of E steel
E He said this A hammer’ll be
A the death of me, Lord, Lord,
E This hammer’ll gonna be the B7 death of me.

 

1. When John Henry was a little baby,
asittin’ on his papa’s knee,
he picked up a hammer
and a little piece of steel
and he said, hammer’s gonna be
the death of me, Lord, Lord and he said,
hammer’s gonna be the death of me.

2. Some say he’s born in Texas.
Some say he’s born up in Maine.
I just say he was a Louisiana man.
Leader of a steel-driving chain gang.
Leader on a steel-driving gang.

3. Well, the Captain said to John Henry
I’m gonna bring my steam drill around
Gonna bring my steam drill out on the job.
Gonna whup that steel on down,
down, down. Whup that steel on down

4. John Henry said to the Captain:
You can bring your steam drill around.
You can bring your steam drill out on the job
I’ll beat your steam drill down,
down, down Beat your steam drill down.

5. John Henry said to his Shaker
Shaker, you had better pray
If you miss your six feet of steel
It’ll be your buryin’ day, day, day
It’ll be your buryin’ day.

6. Now, the Shaker said to John Henry
Man ain’t nothing but a man.
But before I’d let that
steam drill beat me down
I’d die with an hammer in my hand,
hand, hand, I’d die
with an hammer in my hand.

7. John Henry had a little woman,
Her name was Polly Ann.
John Henry took sick
and was laid up in bed
While Polly drove steel like a man, man, man.
Polly drove steel like a man.

8. They took John Henry to the graveyard
Laid him down in the sand Every locomotive
comin’ a-rolling by Hollered,
there lies a steel-drivin’ man,
man, man There lies a steel-drivin’ man
There lies a steel-drivin’ man, man,
man There lies a steel-drivin’ man.

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