John Henry Lyrics

Bruce Springsteen


publisher: ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
writers: Brownie Mac-Ghee, Sonny (usa Terry, Sonny (us Terry, Traditional, Pd Traditional
album: Track 5 in album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
release date: 2006-4-24
popularity : 3 users have visited this page.
length: 5:08
trumpet: Mark Pender
double bass: Jeremy Chatzky
mixer: Bob Clearmountain
recorded by: Toby Scott
violin: Soozie Tyrell and Sam Bardfeld
background vocals: Larry Eagle, Mark Pender, Soozie Tyrell, Eddie Manion, Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg, Sam Bardfeld, Jeremy Chatzky, Frank Bruno and Mark Clifford
guitar: Frank Bruno
drums & percussion: Larry Eagle
saxophone: Eddie Manion
trombone: Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg
banjo: Mark Clifford
lead vocals & background vocals: Bruce Springsteen
assistant mixer: Brandon Duncan
assistant recorded by: Ross Peterson and Kevin Buell
Hammond organ & organ & piano & accordion: Charlie Giordano
piano & Hammond organ & mandolin & percussion & harmonica & guitar & tambourine: Bruce Springsteen
writer: [traditional]
arranger: Bruce Springsteen

Cover Art

Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions cover art
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Well, John Henry was a little baby
Sittin' on his dady's knee
He pick up a hammer and a little piece of steel,
And cried, "Hammer's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord
Hammer's gonna be the death of me"

Now the captain he said to John Henry,
"I'm gonna bring that steam drill around
I'm gonna bring that steam drill out on these tracks
I'm gonna knock that steel on down, God, God
I'm gonna knock that steel on down"

John Henry told his captain,
"Lord, man ain't nothin' but a man
But efore I let that steam drill beat me down
I'm gonna die with a hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord
I'll die with a hammer in my hand"

John Henry driving on the right side
That steam drill driving on the left
Says, "'Fore I'll let your steam drill beat me down
I'm gonna hammer myself to death, Lord, Lord,
I'll hammer my fool self to death"

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

John Henry said to his shaker
"Shaker, why don't you sing?
'Cause I'm swigin' thirty pounds from my hips on down
Yeah, listen to my cold steel ring, Lord, Lord
Listen to my cold steel ring"

John Henry, he hammered in the mountains
His hammer was striking fire
But he worked so hard; it broke his heart
John Henry laid down his hammer and died, Lord, Lord
John Henry laid down his hammer and died

Well, now John Henry, he had him a woman
By the name of Polly Ann
She walked out to those tracks
Picked up John Henry's hammer
Polly drove steel like a man, Lord, Lord
Polly drove that steel like a man

Well every, every Monday morning
When the blue bird he begin to sing
You could hear John Henry from a mile or more
You could hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring
I say, You can hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring


Track Listing


CD 1
  • 1 Old Dan Tucker
  • 2 Jesse James
  • 3 Mrs. McGrath
  • 4 O Mary Don’t You Weep
  • 5 John Henry
  • 6 Erie Canal
  • 7 Jacob’s Ladder
  • 8 My Oklahoma Home
  • 9 Eyes on the Prize
  • 10 Shenandoah
  • 11 Pay Me My Money Down
  • 12 We Shall Overcome
  • 13 Froggie Went a Courtin’