Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

A detailed study of Negro folk music, includes lyrics & sheet music samples.

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John Henry, he wus a steel-drivin' man.
He died wid his hammer in his han'.
O come long boys, an' line up de track,
For John Henry, he hain't never comin' back.
John Henry said to his Cappun : "Boss, A man hain't nothin' but a man, An' 'fore I'll be beat in dis sexion gang, I'll die wid a hammer in my han'."
John Henry, he had a liddle boy,
He helt 'im in de pam of his han';
An' de las' word he say to dat chile wus:
"I wants you to be my steel-drivin' man."
John Henry, he had a pretty liddle wife, An' her name, it wus Polly Ann. She walk down de track, widout lookin' back, For to see her big fine steel-drivin' man.
John Henry had dat pretty liddle wife, An' she went all dress up in red. She walk ev'y day down de railroad track To de place whar her steel-drivin' man fell dead.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III