John Henry

African-American

John Henry was a little baby,
Sittin' on his pappy's knee,
He picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel,
And said, hammer's gonna be death of me.

Now the captain said to John Henry,
I'm gonna bring that steam drill round,
I'm gonna bring that steam drill out on these tracks,
I'm gonna knock that steel on down.

John Henry told his captain,
I ain't nothing but a man,
But before I let that steam drill beat me down
I'm gonna die with a hammer in my hand.

Well captain said to John Henry,
What is that storm I hear?
John Henry said, that ain't no storm,
I t's just my hammer ringing in the air.

Well every Monday morning
When the bluebirds begin to sing
You can hear John Henry for a mile or more
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring.