Mudcat Café message #1663496 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88608   Message #1663496
Posted By: Barry Finn
07-Feb-06 - 12:22 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Norah / Noah / Let Your Hammer Ring
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: NORAH (hammer song)
From "Negro Prison Camp Work Songs" recorded 2/51 by Toshi & Pete Seeger, John Lomax, Chester Bower & Fred Hellerman at Ramsey & Retrieve State Farms, Texas. Originals at the Folklore Archives, Library of Congress.

Let Your Hammer Ring (only a part of the recording)

Oh, don't ya hear my hammer ringing
CH: Let your hammer ring

Oh, don't ya hear my hammer ringing
CH:Let your hammer ring

Chorus repeats after every line

I'm ringing in the bottom
I'm ringing for the captain
I'm ringing for the sargeant
I'm gonna tell you 'bout my hammer
Well, 'bout a-killing me
I says the captain's gone to Huston
He's coming back by the Ramsay
He's gonna bring my partner
We're gonna walk to th live oak
We're gonna walk to the gopherwoodWell, Norah, Norah
Oh, don't ya remember what I tolk ya
About a rainbow sign, sir
I/m gonna run & get some water
Oh, before your next time, sir
Well, ol Norah got his hammer (Norah, their spelling, not mine)
Well, went marching in the bottom
And you can hear Norah's hammer
Well, you can hear Norah's hammer
Wel, you can hear many ringing
Well, all over the land, sir

This crosscutting (axe) song is also recorded on CD "Negro Work Songs & Calls" collected 1934 by John & Allen Lomax, Library of Congress, Archive of Folk Culture, available on Rounder. On the CD Wake Up Dead Man- Black Convict Worksongs From the Texas Prisons also on Rounder Collected by Bruce Jackson at Ellis State Farm, Texas 8/1965 (also see Jackson's book "Wake Up Dead Man for more). Again collected by the Lomaxes on the CD "Big Brazos" part of the Deep River Of Song collection, Texas Prison Recordings, 1933& 1934. again on Rounder. Lomax saw fit to record his song twice be 2 different groups . ! from Lightning Washington & group at Darrington State Farm & the 2nd from Augustus "Track Hourse" Haggerty & group State Penitentiary, Huntsville, Texas.