Bruce Springsteen lyrics -- Bruce Springsteen shows -- Bruce Springsteen records

Song title: John Henry


John Henry

When John Henry was a little baby
Sittin’ on his daddy’s knee
He picked 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 captain he said to John Henry
"I'm gonna bring that steam drill around
I'm gonna bring that steam drill
out of 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 aman ain’t noth’ but a man
But before I let this 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 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 swingin' 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 stricking 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 steel like a man

Well every, every Monday morning
When a blue bird he began to sing
you could hear John Henry
from a mile or more
You could hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You could hear John Henry's hammer ring

I say, You could hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You could hear John Henry's hammer ring


Statistics from the KILLING FLOOR (www.brucespringsteen.it) database


Published on the following official releases:

First known live performance: 13/03/2006 Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park,NJ ,USA
Last known live performance: 21/11/2006 The Odyssey, Belfast ,Ireland

Song 'history':


Played during the rehearsals for the We shall overcome / The Seeger session tour, in Mar/Apr 2006.
Published on the 'WE SHALL OVERCOME - THE SEEGER SESSIONS' Album, released in April 2006.
Played pratically each night of the The Seeger Session tour, with a unique exception

The song was also played in informal happenings or off-tour appearances
Data from the www.brucespringsteen.it database