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John Henry

This song is by Big Bill Broonzy and appears on the compilation album The Big Bill Broonzy Story (1960) and on the compilation album Black, Brown and White (1991).

John Henry said to his captain
A man ain't nothin' but a man
Before I let your steel drill beat me down
I will die with a hammer in my
I will die with a hammer in my hand
I will die with a hammer in my hand

John Henry said to his shaker
Now man, why don't you sing?
I'm shakin' 12 pounds from my hips on down
Man don't you hear that cold steel
Now don't you hear that cold steel ring?
Now don't you hear that cold steel
Now don't you hear that cold steel ring?

John Henry went down that railroad track
With a 12 pound hammer by his side
Yes, he went down the track but he never came back
Because he laid down his hammer and he
Yes he laid down his hammer and he died
Because he laid down his hammer and he
Yes he laid down his hammer and he died

John Henry hammered in the mountain
And the mountain was so high
And the last words that I heard that poor boy say
"Will you gimme a cool drink of water before I
Gimme a cool drink of water before I die
Gimme a cool drink of water before I
Gimme a cool drink of water before I die

John Henry had a little woman
And the dress that she wore was red
And the last words that I heard that little girl say
She said, "I'm goin' to where John Henry fell dead
Yes, I'm goin' to where John Henry fell dead
Yes, I'm goin' to where John Henry fell
Yes, I'm goin' to where John Henry fell dead

John Henry was a little baby boy
And he held him in the palm of his hand
And the last thing that I know that poor boy say
I'm gonna be a steel driving man
I'm gonna be a steel driving man
Gonna be a steel driving man

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