Friday, March 9, 2007


GONNA DIE WITH MY HAMMER IN MY HAND by The Williamson Brothers and Curry.

Our last oldie this week comes from our roster of "John Henry" songs. This is a fast, string band version of the John Henry saga by the Williamson Brothers and Curry. It's one of the oldest commercially produced versions of the song, but thanks to its inclusion on the Anthology of American Folk Music (surely the first box set every American should own, except maybe Star Time), it's one of the better-known. Check out this list (scroll down) of all of the different versions of the song, and even that's not exhaustive (we've got about twenty versions here).

If you're interested at all in American folk music, and the John Henry song in particular, consider buying this book, Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry: the Untold Story of an American Legend. The author thinks he has found the historical John Henry, and gives a really thorough treatment of the legend and the song. We wanted to go visit the Big Bend tunnel in West Virginia where according to legend John Henry died (but read the book!), but decided we didn't have time and visited Foamhenge instead.


Photo: Power lines.


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