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John Henry

as sung by Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen on "The Song Train"

When John Henry was a little baby
He was sitting on his momma's knee
Reached out his hand picked up a little piece of steel
Said this is gonna be the death of me...

Some said he was born in Texas
Some said he was born in Maine
I don't give a damn where that poor boy was born
He was a steel driving man

John Henry said to his Captain
A man ain't nothin' but a man
And before I let that steam drill beat me down
I will die with this hammer in my hand...

John Henry said to his shaker
Shaker why don't you pray
'cause if my hammer miss that little piece of steel
Tomorrow be your burying day

John Henry said to his shaker
Shaker why don't you sing
I'm throwing 9 pounds from my hips on down
Just listen to that cold steel ring

John Henry had a little woman
Her name was Julie Anne
John Henry got sick and was laying in his bed
Julie drove steel like a man...

Now the man who invented the steam drill
He thought he was mighty fine
John Henry drove the steel 14 feet
The steam drill only made nine...

Well John Henry went up on the mountain
On the mountain lord so high
Well he drove so hard he broke his poor heart
And he layed down his hammer and died
Laid down his hammer and he died

Then they took John Henry on the mountain
And they buried him in the sand
And for every locomotive goes rolling by
It says here lies a steel drivin' man...

John Henry had a little woman
And the dress that she wore was red
Well she went down the railroad and she never came back
She say "I'm going where John Henry fell
Yes I'm going where John Henry fell dead...

© 2007 The Song Train