John Henry

John HenryPaper details:Topic: Answer one of the two questions: (a) Find a written version of the John Henryfolktale online. How does the version recorded on the text CD deviate or complement the written version? OR (b) What is Lias’ revelation?Journal Topic: Answer one of the two questions: (a) Find a written version of the John Henryfolktale online. How does the version recorded on the text CD deviate or complement the written version? OR (b) What is Lias’ revelation?JOHN HENRY, STEEL DRIVING MANThe songWhen John Henry was a little babySitting on his daddy’s kneePointed he figured out a little piece of steelSteel’s gonna be the death of me, Lord, LordSteel’s gonna be the death of meWell, now steel’s gonna be the death of me, Lord, LordSteel’s gonna be the death of meJohn Henry told his captain one day‘A man ain’t nothin’ but a manBefore I will let you steam drill beat me downWould die with this hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord’Die with this hammer in my handI would die with this hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord,Die with this hammer in my handJohn Henry had a little womanHer name was Polly AnnJohn Henry got sick and had to go to bedYou know Polly, she drove steel like a man, Lord, LordPolly, she drove steel like a manHow she drive? John Henry drivin’ on the right hand sideSteam drill drivin’ on the leftBefore I will let your steam drill beat me downI will drive my poor self to death, Lord, LordDrive my poor self to deathJohn Henry drove steel on the SouthernHe drove steel on the C&O.He drove steel for that Big Ben TunnelSteel drivin’ kill John you know, steel drivin’ kill John you knowWell, now steel drivin’ kill John you know, Lord, LordSteel drivin’ kill John you knowimage: http://static.urx.io/units/web/urx-unit-loader.gifSome says John Henry was born in TexasSome people thinks he was born in MaineJohn Henry was born down in TennesseeHe was a leader of a steel-driving-gang, Lord, LordLeader of a steel-driving-gangWas a leader of a steel-driving-gang, Lord, LordLeader of a steel-driving-gangWell, the captain loved to see John HenryOne of all loved to hear him singBut most of all that the paymaster lovedHe just loved to get John Henry’s hammer ringHe just loved to get John Henry’s hammer ringHe just loved to get John Henry’s hammer ring, Lord, Lord,Loved to get John Henry’s hammer ringThey carried John Henry on the mountainUpon a mountain so highLast words I heard that poor boy sayGive me a cool drink of water ‘fore I dieGive me a cool drink of water ‘fore I dieGive me a cool drink of water ‘fore I dieWell, they carried John Henry’s body to the White-houseAnd they laid it in the sandEvery time a locomotive follows go rollin’ byThey say, yonder lays a steel-drivin’ manWell, now yonder lays a steel-drivin’ manThey say yonder lays a steel-drivin’ manYonder lays a steel-drivin’ manRead more at http://www.songlyrics.com/sonny-terry-brownie-mcghee/john-henry-lyrics/#IVM4dIWxTo2KFKFI.99JOHN HENRY, STEEL DRIVING MANNow John Henry was a mighty man, yes sir. He was born a slave in the 1840’s but was freed after the war. He went to work as a steel-driver for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, don’t ya know. And John Henry was the strongest, the most powerful man working the rails.John Henry, he would spend his day’s drilling holes by hitting thick steel spikes into rocks with his faithful shaker crouching close to the hole, turning the drill after each mighty blow. There was no one who could match him, though many tried.Well, the new railroad was moving along right quick, thanks in no little part to the mighty John Henry. But looming right smack in its path was a mighty enemy – the Big Bend Mountain. Now the big bosses at the C&O Railroad decided that they couldn’t go around the mile and a quarter thick mountain. No sir, the men of the C&O were going to go through it – drilling right into the heart of the mountain.A thousand men would lose their lives before the great enemy was conquered. It took three long years, and before it was done the ground outside the mountain was filled with makeshift, sandy graves. The new tunnels were filled with smoke and dust. Ya couldn’t see no-how and could hardly breathe. But John Henry, he worked tirelessly, drilling with a 14-pound hammer, and going 10 to 12 feet in one workday. No one else could match him.Then one day a salesman came along to the camp. He had a steam-powered drill and claimed it could out-drill any man. Well, they set up a contest then and there between John Henry and that there drill. The foreman ran that newfangled steam-drill. John Henry, he just pulled out two 20-pound hammers, one in each hand. They drilled and drilled, dust rising everywhere. The men were howling and cheering. At the end of 35 minutes, John Henry had drilled two seven foot holes – a total of fourteen feet, while the steam drill had only drilled one nine-foot hole.John Henry held up his hammers in triumph! The men shouted and cheered. The noise was so loud, it took a moment for the men to realize that John Henry was tottering. Exhausted, the mighty man crashed to the ground, the hammer’s rolling from his grasp. The crowd went silent as the foreman rushed to his side. But it was too late. A blood vessel had burst in his brain. The greatest driller in the C&O Railroad was dead.Some folks say that John Henry’s likeness is carved right into the rock inside the Big Bend Tunnel. And if you walk to the edge of the blackness of the tunnel, sometimes you can hear the sound of two 20-pound hammers drilling their way to victory over the machine.

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