John Henry


“John Henry,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 6, 2022,

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John Henry


One leaf typewritten on the front side. The document is in good physical condition. There is minor fraying along the right edge. The document was folded vertically in half. There is a handwritten check mark at the upper left edge.


Ballads -- United States Hammers -- Songs and music Railroad construction workers -- Songs and music John Henry (Legendary character) -- Songs and music

Alternative Title

The Yew Pine Mountains. I Been a Miner. Johnie Henry. Take This Hammer. Captain. I'm Drivin'. Asheville Junction. Swannoa Tunnel


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University

Date Created



I. G. Greer


The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.








Nine Pound Hammer

Nine pound hammer, nine pound hammer
Little too heavy, little too heavy
Swinging from my side, swinging from my side,
Aswinging from my side------

Roll along Buddy, Roll along Buddy,
Don’t you go so slow , don’t you go so slow
Babe, how can I roll, Babe how can I roll
When the wheels won’t go----

Going long the mountain, going long the mountain
For to see my darling, for to see my darling
And I ain’t acoming back, and I ain’t a coning
And I ain’t acoming back----

Take this hammer, take this hammer
To the Captain, to the Captain
Oh tell him I’m gone, oh tell him I8m gone,
Oh tell him I’m gone-----

Take this hammer, take this hammer
And dip it in gold, Babe, and dip it in gold, Bab
And dip it in gold-----

This old hammer, this old hammer
Killed John Henry, killed John Henry,
Ain’t agoin to kille me, ain’t agoin to kill me
Ain’t agoin to kill me----

Roll on Buddy-------ect.

Classification Title

John Henry

Document Title

Nine Pound Hammer

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Native American Ballads - 270 Laws, I 1 Combs, 81 256

Dimensions - Original

138 mm x 215 mm

Upload Date


File name


Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Paul L. Robertson

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