John Henry was a little ol’ bitty boy sittin’ on his mammy’s knee
Picked up a hammer and a piece of cold ol’ steel
Said the hammer gonna be the death of me momma
Hammer gonna be the death of me

Now John Henry had a little woman and her name was Polly Ann
John Henry he got sick and he had to go to bed
But Polly drove that steel like a man
Polly drove that steel like a man

Now the captain he said to John Henry one day
John I think that mountain’s cavin’ in
But John he just grinned up at the captain
He said Hoss that ain’t nothin but my hammer suckin’ just a little wind
Nothin’ but my hammer suckin’ wind

John Henry Lord John Henry

Now John Henry drove steel in the mountains
And he drove steel all over this land
Said before I let a steamhammer get the best of me
Well I’ll die with my hammer in my hand
Child I’ll die with my hammer in my hand

So big John Henry went down to the tunnel to drive
The steamhammer by his side
Well he beat that big ol’ drill to the end of the tunnel
Then he laid down his hammer and he died Lord Lord
Laid down his hammer and he died

Well they took John Henry to the graveyard
Stuck him six feet under the sand
Every time that big ol’ freight train goes chugga luggin’ round
They say yonder lies a steel drivin’ man yonder lies a steel drivin’ man

John Henry Lord John Henry