John Henry cover
John Henry cover

John Henry Lyrics Meanings
by Buster Brown

Blues
2011
55

John Henry Lyrics

Yeah!
Johnny told his old Captain
'Man, a-when you go downtown
Bring me back the nine pounds hammer'
I got to drive this steel on down
I got to drive this steel on down

You see, Johnny's hammer
Hit the mighty boiler
The hammer caught on fire
Now, the last word I heard
The poor boy say
'I want a cool drink a-water 'fore I die'
'Yeah, a cool drink a-water 'fore I die'

Yeah, Johnny's wife
She heard that Johnny was dead
And she couldn't have stayed in bed
Oh, now Monday mornin'
Caught the eastbound train
She said, I'm g'wine where my man fell dead
'Yeah! I'm goin' where my man fell dead'

('Look out!')

(harmonica & instrumental)

Woo-ha! Woo-ha! Woo!

Woo! Woo!

(Woo! Lord, have mercy, too)

(Ease your mind)

(Yeah!)
Johnny's wife, she wore
A brand new dress (say)
And it was trimmed in blue
(Pretty thing)
Yeah, the last were the words
Said to him, oh Lord, now
'Honey, I been good to you'
'Yeah, honey I been good to you'

Well, they carried Little John
To the graveyard (boys, listen)
They looked at him good and long
Now, the last were the words
If you hear me, oh Lord
'Oh my husband, he is dead and gone'
That's what she said
She said, 'My husband, he is dead and gone'
'Yeah, my husband he is dead and gone'

Yeah, when John Henry was a baby
You could hold him in the paddles of your hand
When everytime they'd rock him, cried
(They say 'He sho' gonna be a little man')
('Yeah, he sho' gon' be a little man')

Yeah, who gonna buy yo' pretty shoes then?
And who gonna roll yo' cheek?

FADES-

She said, 'My daddy gonna buy my pretty lil'
And John Henry gonna roll my cheek
And John Henry gonna roll my cheek
(That what it said)
A-John Henry gonna roll my cheek.

~

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