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greek1237
06-11-2005, 06:04 PM
John Henry was a very small boy,
Fell on his mammy's knee;
Picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel,
"Lord, a hammer'll be the death of me,
Lord, a hammer'll be the death of me."

When John Henry was a little baby,
Sitting on his daddy's knee,
Pointed he figured out a little piece of steel,
"Steel's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord,
Steel's gonna be the death of me,
Well, now steel's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord,
Steel's gonna be the death of me."

John Henry went upon the mountain,
Come down on the side;
The mountain so tall, John Henry was so small,
Lord, he lay down his hammer and he cried, "Oh, Lord,"
He lay down his hammer and he cried.

Some says John Henry was born in Texas,
Some people thinks he was born in Maine,
John Henry was born down in Tennessee,
He was a leader of a steel-driving-gang, Lord, Lord,
Leader of a steel-driving-gang,
Was a leader of a steel-driving-gang, Lord, Lord,
Leader of a steel-driving-gang.

Well, the captain loved to see John Henry,
One of all loved to hear him sing,
But most of all that the paymaster loved,
He just loved to get John Henry's hammer ring,
He just loved to get John Henry's hammer ring,
He just loved to get John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord,
Loved to get John Henry's hammer ring.

John Henry told his Captain,
When you go to town Please bring me back a nine pound hammer
And I'll drive your steel on down.
And I'll drive your steel on down.

John Henry told his Captain,
Man ain't nothing but a man,
And 'fore I'll let that steam drill beat me down
I'll die with this hammer in my hand,
Die with this hammer in my hand.

Captain ast John Henry,
What is that storm I hear?
He says Cap'n that ain't no storm,
'Tain't nothing but my hammer in the air,
Nothing but my hammer in the air.

John Henry told his Captain,
Bury me under the sills of the floor,
So when they get to playing good old Georgy skin,
Bet 'em fifty to a dollar more,
Fifty to a dollar more.

John Henry drove steel on the Southern
He drove steel on the C&O.
He drove steel for that Big Ben Tunnel
Steel drivin' kill John you know,
Steel drivin' kill John you know,
Well, now steel drivin' kill John you know, Lord, Lord,
Steel drivin' kill John you know.

John Henry had a little woman,
Her name was Polly Ann,
John Henry got sick and had to go to bed,
You know Polly, she drove steel like a man, Lord, Lord,
Polly, she drove steel like a man.
How she drive?

John Henry told his lovin' little woman,
"Sick and I want to go to bed;
Fix me a place to lay down, child,
Got a rollin' in my head,
Got a rollin' in my head."

John Henry had a lovely little woman,
Called her Polly Ann;
John Henry got sick and he had to go home,
But Polly broke steel like a man,
Polly broke steel like a man.

John Henry was on the right hand,
But that steam drill was on the left;
"Before your steam drill beats me down,
Hammer my fool self to death,
Lord, I'll hammer my fool self to death."

The captain says to John Henry,
"Believe my tunnel's fallin' in."
"Captain, you needn't not to worry,
Just my hammer hawsing in the wind,
Just my hammer hawsing in the wind."

"Look away over yonder, captain,
You can't see like me."
He hollered out in a low, lonesome cry,
"This hammer'll be the death of me,
Lord, this hammer'll be the death of me."

John Henry told his captain,
"Captain, you go to town,
Bring John back a twelve-pound hammer,
And he'll whup your steam drill down,
[And] he'll whup your steam drill down."

For the man that invented that steam drill
Thought he was mighty fine;
John Henry sunk a fo'teen foot,
The steam drill only made nine,
The steam drill only made nine.

John Henry told his shaker,
"Shaker, you better pray;
For if I miss this six-foot steel,
Tomorrow'll be your buryin' day,
An' tomorrow'll be your buryin' day."

John Henry drivin' on the right hand side,
Steam drill drivin' on the left,
"Before I will let your steam drill beat me down
I will drive my poor self to death, Lord, Lord,
Drive my poor self to death."

John Henry drove steel on the Southern
He drove steel on the C&O.
He drove steel for that Big Ben Tunnel
Steel drivin' kill John you know,
Steel drivin' kill John you know,
Well, now steel drivin' kill John you know, Lord, Lord,
Steel drivin' kill John you know.

They carried John Henry on the mountain,
Upon a mountain so high,
Last words I heard that poor boy say:
"Give me a cool drink of water 'fore I die,
Give me a cool drink of water 'fore I die,
Give me a cool drink of water 'fore I die."

John Henry had a little woman,
The dress she wore was red,
Says I'm going down the track,
And she never looked back.
I'm going where John Henry fell dead,
Going where John Henry fell dead.

Where did you get your pretty li'l dress?
The shoes you wear so fine?
I got my shoes from a railroad man,
My dress from a man in the mine,
My dress from a man in the mine.

Who's going to shoe your pretty li'l feet?
And who's going to glove your hand?
Who's going to kiss your dimpled cheek?
And who's going to be your man?
Who's going to be your man?

My father's going to shoe my pretty li'l feet;
My brother's going to glove my hand;
My sister's going to kiss my dimpled cheek;
John Henry's going to be my man,
John Henry's going to be my man.

John Henry had another little woman,
The dress she wore was blue;
She went down the track and she never looked back,
"John Henry, I've been true to you."

Well, they carried John Henry's body to the White-house,
And they laid it in the sand,
Everytime a locomotive follows go rollin' by,
They say: "Yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
Well, now yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
They say yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
Yonder lays a steel-drivin' man."



I was doing a little reading on John Henry, and well there had been over 100 songs sung about John Henry. Chain gangs starting singing about Henry when they were building the rail roads.

But the thing that SHOCK me most was the last line Well,

they carried John Henry's body to the White-house,
And they laid it in the sand,
Everytime a locomotive follows go rollin' by,
They say: "Yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
Well, now yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
They say yonder lays a steel-drivin' man,
Yonder lays a steel-drivin' man."

Folklorists have not known what to make of this passage," Nelson said, "and have wondered how John Henry's body might have ended up at the Oval Office, where there is no railroad and no sand." Digging deeper, he learned that convict workers on the C&O were buried on the grounds of the Virginia State Penitentiary until 1877, when Richmond city officials ordered more suitable burials off-site.

"The Virginia State Penitentiary had a red house for administration and a white house as a barracks and workshop," Nelson said. "Sand borders the perimeter. Nearby were the tracks of the Richmond & Petersburg and the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac railroads."

While the prison was being torn down when the land was sold to the Ethyl Corp. in the early 1990s, construction workers, digging behind where the white house had been located, discovered scores of bodies, buried together in large boxes. Galvanized rubber jewelry found on the skeletons helped archaeologists to date the site to the second half of the 19th century. The remains were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where they are being studied


Got it from www.bluegrassmessengers.c...enry8.html (http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/master/johnhenry8.html)


Was pretty shock, and I was waching the history channel when I found this out, and they mention this on the channel.

The show was title Giants freind or foe.

GorDoom
06-16-2005, 12:53 PM
Really interesting stuff, Greek.

GorDoom

Juan C Ayllon
06-16-2005, 02:50 PM
Yeah, Greek, that was a very interesting read, indeed!

Best,


Juan

cyberboxingzone
06-17-2005, 03:57 AM
I wrote about John Henry in WAIL! in a piece I called Pugil!

www.cyberboxingzone.com/b...396box.htm (http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/396box.htm)

scroll down to find my article

greek1237
06-17-2005, 03:25 PM
You guys may not consider it, But I though the steel driving gang of the 1800's was a good part of history, And well John Henry was part of history, He was BIGGER in foke lord than the lumberjacks Paul Byneon, Paul had MYTH and larger than life.

John Henry's story was a story about the real life of a chain gang, and they RELLY did work em to death. At the time.

cyberboxingzone
06-21-2005, 04:14 PM
John Henry had nothing to do with a chain gang -- he was a railroad worker