Archive for the 'Railroad' Category



900 Miles


h1 Monday, February 1st, 1999

900.gif

This is a song that I used to hear around the folk circles of Chicago. It has been recorded by numerous artists, including Woody Guthrie.

I'm using my new Martin D12-42RM signature model 12-string.

Lyrics:
Em

Well I'm walkin' down the track, I got tears in my eyes

Tryin' to read a letter from my home

cho: If that train runs me right, I'll be home tomorrow night

G D Em

'Cause it's nine hundred miles where I'm goin'.

G D Em

And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow

G D Em

'Cause I'm nine hundred miles from my home.

Well the train I ride on is a hundred coaches long

You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

I will pawn you my watch, I will pawn you my chain

Pawn you my gold diamond ring.

Well if you say so, I will railroad no more

Sidetrack my train and come home.

John Henry


h1 Saturday, August 1st, 1998

traingol.jpg

The legend of John Henry dates back to the early 1870s during the building of the Big Bend Tunnel through the West Virginia mountains by C & O Railroad workers. To carve this tunnel, then the longest in the United States, men worked in pairs to drill holes for dynamite. One man used a large hammer to pound a huge drill, while another man screwed it into the rock.

John Henry was renowned for his strength and skill in driving the steel drills into the solid rock. One day the captain brought a newly invented steam drill to the tunnel to test. Which was stronger, man or machine? John Henry, the strongest steel driver of them all, beat the steam drill, but according to the song, the effort killed him.

Lyrics:
A
When John Henry was a little baby,
E7
Just a sittin' on his mammy's knee,
A7 D7
Said the Big Bend Tunnel on that C & O Road
A
Gonna be the death of me, Lord God
E7 A
Going to be the death of me.'

Well John Henry said to the captain,
I'm gonna take a little trip downtown
Get me a thirty pound hammer with that nine foot handle
I'll beat your steam drill down, Lord God
I'll beat your steam drill down

Well John Henry hammered on that mountain
Till his hammer was striking fire
And the very last words that I heard that boy say was
Cool drink of water 'for I die, Lord God
Cool drink of water 'for I die

Well they carried him down to the graveyard
And they buried him in the sand
And every locomotive came a roarin' on by
They cried out, 'There lies a steel drivin' man, Lord God
There lies a steel drivin' man.

Well there's some say he came from Texas
There's some say he came from Maine
Well I don't give a damn where that poor boy was from
You know that, he was a steel drivin' man, Lord God
John Henry was a steel drivin' man

Well when John Henry was a little baby,
Just a sitting on his mammy's knee,
Said the Big Bend Tunnel on that C & O Road
Gonna be the death of me, Lord God
Gonna to be the death of me.'

� 1998 McGuinn Music – Roger McGuinn