1. Well, every Monday morning when the bluebirds begin to sing,
You can hear those hammers a mile or more,
You can hear John Henry’s hammer ring, oh Lawdy,
Hear John Henry’s hammer ring.
2. When John Henry was a little boy,
He was on his way to school,
Well, he looked at the teacher and this is what he said:
“I want to learn how to hammer too, oh Lawdy,
Want to learn how to hammer too.”
3. John Henry had a little woman,
And her name was Polly Ann,
When John Henry was sick and a-lying in his bed,
Polly drove steel like a man, oh Lawdy,
Polly drove steel like a man.
4. John Henry had a little woman named Mary Magdalene,
She would go to the tunnel and sing for John,
Just to hear John Henry’s hammer ring, oh Lawdy,
Just to hear John Henry’s hammer ring.
5. John Henry told his little woman,
“Will you fix my supper soon?
Got ninety miles of track I’ve got to line,
Got to line it by the light of the moon, oh Lawdy,
Line it by the light of the moon.”
6. John Henry had a little baby,
Held him in the palm of his hand,
Well, the last words I hear that poor boy say:
“My dad is a steel-driving man, oh Lawdy,
My dad is a steel-driving man.”
7. Some say John Henry come from England,
And some say he’s from Spain,
But I say he’s nothing but a Louisiana man,
Just the leader of a steel-driving gang, oh Lawdy,
Lead of a steel-driving gang.
- similar song: John Henry
- source: American Folk Songs for Children,Ruth Crawford Seeger, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1948
Extras for Plus Members
- Song with chords (PDF)
- MIDI file