Standard guitar tuning:EADGBECapo on 1 fret
G G G G
G GJohn HenrGy's pappy woke him up one midnight. He said, "Before the sheriff comes, I wanna tell you. D Listen boy," He said, "Learn to ballG a jack, learn to lay a track.C G Learn to pick and shovel too. And take my hammer. It'll do anything youD tell it to. G N.C.John Henry's mammy had about a dozen babies. G John Henry's pappy broke jail about a dozen times. D The babGies all got sick and when the doctor wanted moneyC, G He said: "I'll pay you a quarter at a time, startin' tomorrow. That's pay for a steel driver on tDhis line." G Then the sectioGn foreman said, "Hey, hammer swinger, N.C.I see you brought your own hammer, boy, But what else can all them muscle do?" And he said, "I can turn a jack, I can layG a track. I can pick and shovel too." ("Can you swing a hammer, boy") "Yes sir, I can do anything you hire meD to." G G ("Now, ain't you somethin', so high and mighty with your muscles. Just go ahead, boy, and pick up that hammer. Pick up the hammer.") He said, "Get a rusty spike and swing it down three times. I'll pay you a nickel a day for ev'ry inch you sink into. Go on and do what you say you cDan do." G With a steepG-nosed hammer on a four foot switch handle, John Henry raised it back till it touched his heels. D Then the spike wGent through the crosstie and split it half in two. C G Thirty five cents a day for drivin' steel. "I was born for drivin' steel." E Well, John Henry haEmmered in the mountain. He'd give a grunt and he'd give a groan with every swing. B7 The women folks for Emiles around heard him and came doAwn E To watch him make the cold steel ring. Lord, what a swinger. Just listen to that cold steB7el ring. E G But the bad Gboss came up laughin' at John Henry. Said, "You full of vinegar now, but you 'bout through. D We gonGna get a steam drill to do you share if drivin'. Then what's all them muscle gonna do, huh, John Henry? Gonna take a little bit of vinegar out oDf you." G John HenGry said, "I feed four little brothers And baby sister's walkin' on her knees. D N.C.Did the Lord say that machines oughta take the place of livin'? And what's the substitute for bread and beans? I ain't seen it. Do engines get rewarded for their steam?" G John HenrGy hid in a coal mine for his dinner nap; Had thirty minutes to rest before the bell. D The mineG boss hollered, "Get up, who-ever you are and get aC pickax. G Give me enough coal to start another hill and keep it burnin'. Mine me enough to start another Dhill." G John HenrGy said to his Captain, "A man ain't nothin' but a man. D But if you'll bring Gthat steam drill around I'll beat it fair and hoCn - est. G I'll die with a hammer in my hand, but I'll be laughin', 'Cause you can't replae a steel drivin' Dman." G There was a big crowdG of people at the mountain. John Henry said to the steam drill, "How is you? D N.C.Pardon me, Mister Steam Drill. I suppose you didn't hear me. I said, how are you? Huh? Well, can Gyou turn a jack, can you lay a track? Can you pick and shovel too? Listen, this hammer swinger's talkin' to you." D G N.C. E Two thousEands people hollered, "Go, John Henry!" Then somebody hollered, "The mountain's caving in!" B7 John HenrEy told the Captain, "Tell the kind folks don't to worry. It ain't nothin' but my hammer suckin' wind. It keeps me breathin'. This steel driver's muscle, B7I ain't tin. E G GCaptain, tell the people move back farther. I'm at the finish line and there ain't no drill. D It's Gso far behind but yet ain't got the brains to quit it. When she blows up she'll scatter 'cross the hills, Lord, Lord. When she blows up she'll scatter 'cross tDhe hills." G N.C. E Well, JohnE Henry had a little woman. I believe the lady's name was Polly Ann. B7 N.C. Yeah, that was his good woman. John Henry threw his hammer over his shoulder and went on home. He lay down to rest his weary back. And early next mornin' he said, "Come here Polly Ann. Come here, sugar. You know, I believe this is the first time I ever Watched the sun come up that I couldn't come up. Take my hammer, Polly Ann, and go to that railroad. Swing that hammer like you seen me do it. And when you're swingin' with the lead man, they'll all know, They'll all know you're John Henry's woman. But, but tell 'em that ain't all you can do. Tell 'em I canE hoist a jack, and I can lay a trAack. E I can pick and shovel too. Ain't no machine can. That's been prB7oved to you." E N.C. G There was a big crowGd of mourners at the church house. The section hands laid him in the sand. D GTrains go by on the rails John Henry laid. N.C.They slow down, they take off their hats, the men do. When they come to the place where John Henry's layin' Restin' his back, some of 'em say, "Mornin', steel driver. You sure was a hammer swinger." Then they go on by pickin' up a little speed. Click-a-dee clack. Click-a-deGe clack. Click-a-dee clack. Click-a-dee clack. (YGonder lies the steel drivin' man, oh, Lord. Yonder lies the steel driDvin' man.) G ||: (AYonder lies the steel drivin' man, oh, Lord. Yonder lies the steel driEvin' man.) :|| ReApeat and fade
© 2015, Songsterr.com.
© 2015, Songsterr.com.