Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Ballads and Songs
C
i. John Henry was a water boy Settin' on his papa's knee, John Henry cried out with a very loud voice That the hammer would be the death of me.
2. So they took John Henry And put him in the mine to drive. John Henry struck and the wall did shuck: "And there is nothin' but my hammer comin' down, And there is nothin' but my hammer comin' down."
John Henry cried out again
With a very loud voice:
"The hammer will be the death of me,
The hammer will be the death of me."
John Henry had a little woman
And her name was Julie Ann,
Says, " She went down to the cut about half-past nine,
And she hammered like a natural man,
And she hammered like a natural man."
Says, "Who's gonner buy you a gown ?" Says, "Who's gonner buy you gloves ?" Says, "Who's gonner buy the shoes you wear ?" Says, "Who's gonner be your man ?" Says, "Who's gonner be your man ?"
Says, "My papa's gonner buy me a gown;" Says, "My mama's gonner buy me gloves;" Says, "I'm gonner buy the shoes I wear;" Says, "I ain't gonner marry no man;" Says, "I ain't gonner marry no man."
7. John Henry says to the captain: "A man ain't nothing but a man." Says, "Let this steam drill beat me down, I'll die with my hammer in my hand, Fll die with my hammer in my hand."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III