Collected by Lew Hobson and Zane Hankins For M. C. Parler Transcribed by Lew Hobson
Sung by Teddy Souter Spring Hill, Louisiana January 12, 1960
Reel 341, Item 15
When John Henry was a little baby His mamma took him by the hand She said now John when you get grown You'll be a steel driving man Lord, Lord.
You'll be a steel driving man.
When John Henry went to work for the Rail Road He said to the railroad man.
I weigh 20 pounds from my waist on down But Lord I'm a steel driving man Oh Lord I'm a steel driving man.
John Henry had a little woman
Her name was Plooy Ann
Henry got sick and had to go to bed
But Polly drove steel like a man Oh Lord
Polly drove steel like a man.
John Henry needed some money To pay for a jug of wine
He said if you wait till the sun goes down
I'll get it from the man in the mine Oh Lord
I'll get it from the man in the mine.
John Henry said to the bos man
You better lay the steel drill down
The base done broke, hole done choked
And it can't drive steel like me Lord, Lord
It can't drive steel like me.
John Henry went to the White House
They burried him in the cold cold ground
Every time a railroad train goes by
They say there lies a steel driving man Lord, Lord
There lies a steel driving man.
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