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Origins: Nine Pound Hammer

DigiTrad:
JUMPIN' JUDY
NINE POUND HAMMER (Roll on Buddy)
SWANNANOA TUNNEL
SWANNANOA TUNNEL 2


Related threads:
Nine Pound Hammer (8)
Hoyt Axton and Swananoah Tunnel (4)
Lyr Req: Spike Driver Blues (Mississippi John Hurt (9)
Lyr Req: Sugar in My Coffee (16)
'Swannanoa Tunnel': Murder Ballad Monday (1)
Tune Req: Nine pound hammer, townes van zandt (8)
(origins) Origin:Charlie Bowman wrote Nine Pound Hammer? (27)
Lyr Req: Roll On Buddy... (8)
Lyr Add: Swannanoa Tunnel 2 (5)
john henry (Dick Miles mp3) (4)
mp3: Nine Pound Hammer - Ralph Stanley (4)
Lyr Req: Roll On Buddy (10)
Help: Roll on Buddy (9)
Lyr Req: Swannanoa Tunnel (3)


Richie 08 Jan 03 - 07:42 AM
Richie 08 Jan 03 - 07:47 AM
Richie 08 Jan 03 - 10:36 PM
Barry Finn 08 Jan 03 - 10:45 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jan 03 - 02:06 AM
Richie 09 Jan 03 - 08:26 AM
Richie 09 Jan 03 - 08:39 AM
dick greenhaus 09 Jan 03 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Q 09 Jan 03 - 02:04 PM
MMario 09 Jan 03 - 02:09 PM
Art Thieme 09 Jan 03 - 08:03 PM
Stewie 09 Jan 03 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Jan 03 - 09:18 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jan 03 - 11:23 PM
Art Thieme 10 Jan 03 - 12:31 AM
Brian Hoskin 10 Jan 03 - 06:50 AM
Rex 10 Jan 03 - 05:16 PM
Richie 10 Jan 03 - 11:01 PM
Richie 12 Jan 03 - 11:55 PM
masato sakurai 13 Jan 03 - 12:38 AM
Bert 13 Jan 03 - 12:53 AM
Stewie 13 Jan 03 - 02:13 AM
Richie 13 Jan 03 - 09:17 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM
Richie 14 Jan 03 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 14 Jan 03 - 02:27 PM
Stewie 14 Jan 03 - 09:54 PM
Richie 15 Jan 03 - 12:13 AM
Stewie 15 Jan 03 - 01:01 AM
Stewie 15 Jan 03 - 01:30 AM
Richie 15 Jan 03 - 07:41 AM
Richie 15 Jan 03 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,scott b. 09 Nov 04 - 01:20 AM
Nerd 09 Nov 04 - 02:35 AM
Stewie 09 Nov 04 - 04:06 AM
Azizi 09 Nov 04 - 10:13 AM
Azizi 09 Nov 04 - 10:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 04 - 08:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 04 - 08:13 PM
Tannywheeler 09 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 04 - 09:28 PM
Nerd 10 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,scott bowman 10 Nov 04 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,scott b 10 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 04 - 11:44 PM
Stewie 11 Nov 04 - 12:38 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Nov 04 - 12:10 PM
Margret RoadKnight 11 Nov 04 - 07:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 04 - 10:15 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Nov 04 - 09:53 AM
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Subject: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:42 AM

I've been looking at the "Nine Pound Hammer" Songs that are related to "John Henry." There are several threads already in the DT. The song titles include:

"Take This Hammer"
"Swannanoa Tunnel"
"Roll On Buddy"
"Spike Driver Blues"

I'm interested in the finding out additional lyrics to the above but also to the related songs:

"I Got a Bulldog"
"Sugar in My Coffee"
"Jumpin' Judy"
"Bald Headed Woman"

I know the "I Got a Bulldog" lyric appears in other songs including Handy's "Joe Turner Blues." Does anyone have info about the origin of "I Got a Bulldog" or the chain gang song, "Bald Headed Woman"?

Is the difference between the "Nine Pound Hammer" Songs and "John Henry" the "Roll on Buddy" lyric?

-Richie
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index, which should help give a start.
-Joe Offer-


Take This Hammer

DESCRIPTION: The singer tells a (fellow prisoner?) to take his hammer to the captain; the singer is running away. The hammer (which killed John Henry) will never kill him. The versions show considerable variations
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: Jekyll (1907); "Take This Hammer": 1915 (collected by Newman Ivey White); "Nine Pound Hammer" variant: 1927 (Sandburg; recording, Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters)
KEYWORDS: prisoner work escape nonballad worksong
FOUND IN: US(SE) West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 571-582, "Nine Pound Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 383, "John Henry" (6 texts, but the last three belong with this song)
Sandburg, p. 376, "Ever Since Uncle John Henry Been Dead" (1 text, 1 tune, which I believe belongs here although the text is too short to be sure); 457-458, "My Old Hammah" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 280, "John Henry" (2 texts plus 5 fragments, 1 excerpt, and mention of 1 more, but it appears that fragments "B," "D," "E," and "G" go here)
BrownIII 241, "Some of These Days and It Won't Be Long" (1 text plus a fragment; the "A" text shows hints of incorporating another ballad); also 240, "I Been a Miner" (1 4-line fragment, consisting of the stanza "I been a miner most of my life" and the stanza, "Big John Henry (x3) poor boy blind")
BrownSchinhanIV 270, "John Henry" (7 excerpts, 7 tunes, of which "A," "A(1)," and perhaps "C" appear to be "John Henry"; "E," "G," and "J" appear to be "Take This Hammer," and "H" appears to be "Swannanoa Tunnel")
Chappell-FSRA 104, "The John Henry Hammer Song" (1 short and 1 very long text, 1 tune; the short text might be anything and the long, though it ends with these verses, includes much floating material about railroad construction)
Rosenbaum, pp. 122-123, "Old John Henry Died on the Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune, listed by Roud as an independent song, #16268, but giving every evidence of being a version of this)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 219, (no title) (1 short texts; neither has the "take this hammer" line, but they fit metrically and mention the hammer that killed John Henry); p. 220, "Work-song" (1 short text, 1 tune, at least related to this); p. 220, "Nine-Pound Hammer" (1 short text); p. 220, "Work-song" (1 short text, with a verse of this song although it also mentions shooting Ida in the leg)
Colcord, p. 186, "Rocks In De Mountens" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 93, "Take This Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 380-381, "Take This Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 145, "Roll On, Buddy"; 297, "East Colorado Blues" (2 texts, 2 tunes -- both, especially the former, folk processed and expanded and perhaps derived in part from other songs.)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 264-266, "Oh, Roll On, Babe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jackson-DeadMan, pp. 237-240, "Take This Hammer" (2 texts, 1 tune)
GreenMiner, p. 329-331, "Nine Pound Hammer" (7 texts, 2 tunes)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 100, "Spike Driver Blues" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 112, "Nine Pound Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 94-95, "Nine-Pound Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, p. 913, "Take This Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Courlander-NFM, pp. 137-138, "(John Henry)" (1 text, with a fragment of the plot of "John Henry" but many lyrics from "Take This Hammer"); pp. 285-286, "John Henry (Version III)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jekyll 184, ("Them Gar'n Town people them call me follow line") (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 234-235, "Spike Driver Blues" (1 text, filed with three texts of "John Henry"); also pp. 327-328, "John Henry, " "This Old Hammer" (2 texts)
Silber-FSWB, p. 69, "Take This Hammer" (1 text); p. 124, "Nine Pound Hammer" (1 text)
DT, NINEPND* TAKEHAMR*
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 45, "Take This Hammer" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #4299; also 6686
RECORDINGS:
Frank Blevins & his Tar Heel Rattlers, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Columbia 15280-D, 1928; on LostProv1)
Emmett Brand, "Take This Hammer" (on MuSouth06)
Carolina Tar Heels, "Roll On, Boys" (Victor V-40024, 1929; rec. 1928) [I include this here for want of a better place; its chorus is from "Nine Pound Hammer/Roll On, Buddy," but the verses are unrelated floaters]
Palmer Crisp, "Roll On, John" (on Crisp01)
Delmore Bros. "Take It to the Captain" (King 718, 1948)
[G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "The Nine-Pound Hammer" Victor V-40105, 1929; rec. 1928)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Roll On, Buddy" (on Holcomb2, HolcombCD1)
Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Brunswick 177, 1927)
Mississippi John Hurt, "Spike Driver Blues" (OKeh 8692, 1929; rec. 1928; on AAFM3, BefBlues3, MJH01, MJH02); "Spike Driver (John Henry)" (on MJHurt05)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Roll On Buddy" (AFS 2548 B, 1939; on LC61)
Buffalo Johnson, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Rich-R-Tone 1023, 1952)
Buell Kazee, "Roll On John" (Brunswick 144, 1927) [a "Nine Pound Hammer" version]
Monroe Brothers, "Nine Pound Hammer Is Too Heavy" (Bluebird B-6422, 1936)
Paul Robeson, "Water Boy" (Victor 19824, 1925; HMV [UK] B-8103, 1934)
South Carolina ditch diggers, "Ten Pound Hammer" (on LomaxCD1700)
Horace Sprott, "Take This Hammer" (on MuSouth04)
Ernest Stoneman & Eddie Stoneman, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Vocalion 02655, 1934)
Sweet Brothers, "I Got a Bulldog" (1928; on TimesAint04)
Henry Grady Terrell, "Old John Henry Died on the Mountain" (on FolkVisions2, ClassRR)
Art Thieme, "Railroad Blues and Nine Pound Hammer" [medley] (on Thieme01)
Merle Travis, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Capitol 48000, 1947; on 78 album "Folk Songs of the Hills", Capitol AD 50; rec. 1946)
Doc Watson, "Spike-Driver Blues" (on RitchieWatson1, RitchiteWatsonCD1)
Tex Williams, "Nine Pound Hammer" (Decca 29764, 1955)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "John Henry" [Laws I1] (lyrics)
cf. "Jumpin' Judy" (lyrics)
cf. "Walking Boss" (lyrics)
cf. "Swannanoah Tunnel" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Drivin' Steel" (theme, lyrics)
cf. "Don't You Hear My Hammer Ringing" (lyrics)
cf. "Old Rattler" (lyrics)
cf. "Hammer Ring"
cf. "If I Had the Gov'nor" (theme)
cf. "Pickaxe Too Heavy" (theme)
cf. "Roll On, Boys" (lyrics, theme)
cf. "My Captain Paid Me Forty-one Dolalrs and a Quarter" (form, theme, lyrics)
NOTES: The connection between this song and "Swannanoa Tunnel" is very strong; there are so many intermediate versions that we can hardly draw a clear distinction. But the extreme versions are sufficiently different that I have listed them separately. - RBW
Paul Stamler suggests that "Take This Hammer" and "Nine Pound Hammer" can be distinguished by the chorus (found in the latter) "Roll on buddy/Don't you roll so slow/How can I roll/When the wheels won't go." (Which is further modified in the Lomax collection to "Oh, roll on, babe, don't roll so slow, When the sun goes down, you'll roll no more"; this version is mostly about love, courting, and rejection and has only the slighted railroad elements.)
Paul adds, ""According to the liner notes on LC61, the cited 78s (by Charlie Bowman and Al Hopkins) are the first recorded under the names 'Roll On, Buddy' and 'Nine Pound Hammer,' indicating the variant existed when these records were published. The Aunt Molly Jackson field recording dates from 1939. So I think we've established the variant's presence in tradition as early as the late 1920s. I think it's time to split 'em, with cross-referencing notes."
He's probably right. Sadly, we now have four references I can no longer check. So they remain lumped until I can find a way to get those books back. - RBW
Unfortunately, the liner notes to LC61 misled me. While it's true that the title "Roll On, Buddy" was first used by Charlie Bowman & his Brothers, his recording (placed here in earlier versions of the Index) wasn't this song. Instead, it was the one we have indexed as "Roll On, Buddy (II) [Roll On, Buddy, Roll On]." Sorry.
We can go further: Archie Green interviewed Charlie Bowman of Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, who stated that he and Al Hopkins had put together the "Roll On Buddy" variant from traditional fragments during their 1927 recording session, and the song was in fact copyrighted in their name. Bowman stated that he'd learned many of the fragments from African-American railroad workers in 1903-1905. - PJS
Norm Cohen has an extensive discussion, based on Archie Green's examination in Only a Miner. They note two basic elements: The "Take this hammer" stanzas, in non-rhyming couplets, and the "roll on buddy" verses, which do rhyme. They therefore suspect that Hopkins was the source of the combination. The problem is simply too great to fully explicate here; I can only recommend the discussions in Green and Cohen. - RBW
I place Robeson's "Water Boy" here for want of a better place. It contains several floating verses from this song (e.g., "There ain't no hammer that's on this mountain/That rings like mine..."). - PJS
Jekyll's tune is close to the commonly sung tune for "Take This Hammer". His lyrics are: "Them Gar'n Town people them call me follow line" (3x), "Somebody dying here ev'ry day"; "A ten pound order him kill me pardner" (3x), "Somebody dying here ev'ry day"; "Den number nine tunnel I would not work de" (3x), "Somebody dying here ev'ry day." Jekyll's explanation is interesting, but, keep in mind that he often seems not to know that his songs have U.S. analogs: "An incident, or perhaps it were better to say an accident, in the making of the road to Newcastle. A man who undertook a piece of contract work for 10 pounds was killed by a falling stone. The so-called tunnels are cuttings. Number nine had a very bad reputation." - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
File: FR383

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Subject: Lyr Add: I GOT A BULLDOG
From: Richie
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:47 AM

Lyr. Add: I GOT A BULLDOG, Sweet Brothers

I've got a bulldog, he cost five hundred
I've got a bulldog, he cost five hundred
I've got a bulldog, he cost five hundred
In my back yard babe in my back yard

When he barks he roars like thunder
When he barks he roars like thunder
When he barks he roars like thunder
He barks at you baby he barks at you babe

Take this hammer and give it to the captain
Take this hammer and give it to the captain
Take this hammer and give it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone babe tell him I'm gone

When you pass by oh say good morning
When you pass by oh say good morning
When you pass by oh say good morning
Tell him I'm gone babe tell him I'm gone

When you see my long haired buddy
When you see my long haired buddy
When you see my long haired buddy
Tell him I'm gone babe tell him I'm gone


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Subject: Lyr Add: BALDHEADED WOMAN
From: Richie
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 10:36 PM

Here's another of the "Nine Pound Hammer" lyrics, any others? Any info?

Lyr. Add: BALDHEADED WOMAN
(Traditional/Arr. Heimann)

1. Don't want no jet black woman.
Oh, Lord, she too mean.
Don't want no sugar in my coffee,
It make me mean, it make me mean.

2. I got a bulldog, he weigh five hundred,
Oh, Lord in my backyard,
When he bark, he roll like thunder
Open up that cloud, open up that cloud.

3. When you meet my dog and woman,
Oh, Lord, just bow your head, bow your head.
Don't want no bald-headed woman,
Oh Lord, she drive me mad.

Notes: From PROFESSOR BOTTLENECK & FRANK BORN: "ROLLING BONES"

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 10:45 PM

A.Lomax also collected other versions of the above "I got a bull dog". He has them as "Well, I Wonder" sung by Dobie Red & group at Parchman Farm 1947, "Black Woman" sung by BB & group again at Parchman Farm 1947, "Black Gal" sung by Lightning Washington & group at the Darrington State Farm, Texas 1934. He says that this was a railroad song that made it's way into the Prisons. As a railroad song he's got it as a Tie-Tamping & a Track Lining song. In the prisons he has them as a flatweeding song. Bruce Jackson also collected 2 versions of "Black Gal" one from Joseph "Chinaman" Johnson & group at the Ellis Unit Texas 1965 & the other from JB Smith & Louis "Bacon & Porkchop" at the Ramsey Unit, Texas 1965 again as a flatweeding song. All these tunes are fairly close to the above "I Got a Bulldog".


Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:06 AM

I grouped all the related songs I could find. Also take a look at the John Henry Group (click).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUGAR IN MY COFFEE
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:26 AM

Thanks Joe and Barry,

The "Sugar in My Coffee" or "Sugar in My Coffee-O" thread is a different song. The only lyrics I have are below, which is related to the "Nine Pound Hammer Songs." This version also has the "Bought me a bulldog, guards my woman" line similar to "Joe Turner" blues.   

Sugar in My Coffee
(arr. by G. Johnson)

I don't want no sugar in my coffee
Makes me mean, it makes me mean
I don't want no sugar in my coffee
Makes me mean, makes me mean

If you see my woman coming
Just bow your head, bow your head
If you see my woman coming
Well, I said bow your head

Bought me a bulldog, guards my woman
When I'm gone, when I'm gone
Bought me a bulldog, watch my woman
When I'm gone, when I'm gone

I got a bulldog, weighs five hundred pounds
In my backyard, in my backyard
Got a bulldog, weighs five hundred pounds
In my backyard, my backyard.

And when he barks, he roar just like thunder
Up in the clouds, up in the clouds
Yeah, when he barks, roars just like thunder
Up in the clouds, up in the clouds.

I don't want no sugar in my coffee
Makes me mean, it makes me mean
I don't want no sugar in my coffee
Makes me mean


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:39 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for Swannanoa Tunnel and some background information about the tunnel.

Swannanoa Tunnel
DESCRIPTION: "Asheville Junction, Swannanoa Tunnel, all caved in, baby, all caved in." About the life of a steel driver: "This old hammer Killed John Henry, Couldn't kill me." The singer hopes for relief from the hard work and a chance to see his woman.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1924
KEYWORDS: railroading work separation death
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Combs/Wilgus 256, p. 166, "The Yew-Pine Mountains" (1 text, which omits the "Swannanoa Tunnel" lyrics but is otherwise so similar I have to believe it the same)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 749, "Swannanoa Tunnel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 45, "Swannanoa Tunnel" (1 text)
DT, SWANNOA*
RECORDINGS:
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Swannanoa Tunnel" (on BLLunsford01)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Drivin' Steel" (theme)
cf. "Take This Hammer" (floating lyrics)
Notes: The connection between this song and "Take This Hammer" (Nine Pound Hammer) is very strong; there are so many intermediate versions that we can hardly draw a clear distinction. But the extreme versions are sufficiently different that I have listed them.

Swannanoa Tunnel
In 1871 the 2,200-acre plantation of G.S.F. Davidson was sold for thirty thousand dollars to the Catawba Vale Land Association, two years after the Western North Carolina railroad had reached Old Fort. "The Town of Catawba Vale was quite large on paper, but small on the ground," wrote one of the speculators in the letter to a friend up north. The Western Carolina Railway had reached Old Fort in 1860. The circuitous route of the track through the western hills to the top of the mountains at Ridgecrest was made necessary because of the lack of earthmoving machinery and by the need to keep the grade easy enough for a steam engine to pull a train of heavy cars. In March 1879, the Swannanoa Tunnel was completed and the road reached Asheville in 1880. Seven hand-dug tunnels, nine miles of track, and eleven years later, the new railroad reached Asheville. Three hundred lives were lost building the Western Carolina Railroad; nonetheless, the coming of the railroad meant economic, intellectual, and industrial opportunity from the mountain people.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 11:10 AM

Some Marginalia:

Cecil Sharp collected Swannanoa Tunnel in 1918. He had some trouble with accents, and wrote it down as Swannanoa Town, O

The interrelationships of various "Roll On" songs is covered pretty well in Only a Miner (Archie Green). Good book.

John Garth, an a discussion at the Ballad-L list, brought up the point that flesh-and-blood bulldogs don't bark; made a convincing argument that "bulldog" in many songs referred to a style of revolver,


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:04 PM

Could be wrong, but I always thought the "bulldog" referred to the pit bulldog, or American Staffordshire Terrier. Some strains of the breed are quite large, and used for fighting. A lot more active than the real bulldog. They were raised at Ft. Riley in Kansas where my father trained at the Cavalry School in 1918 approx. He brought one from there for me when I was born a few years later so that it could be "raised with me" as a protector. It was large, with a neck like a defensive lineman.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: MMario
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:09 PM

?? Friends of mine had an English Bulldog - he used to bark plenty!


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:03 PM

Merle Travis says he wrote this. I doubt it.

Nine pound hammer
Is a little too heavy
For my size, great god,
For my size.

I'm goin' on the mountain
Gonna see my baby
Never comin' back, great God
Never coming back.

It's a long way to Harlan,
It's a long way to hazard,
To get a little a booze, good God,
Just to get a little booze.

This old hammer
It killed John Henry
Won't kill me, great God,
It won't kill me.

etc.

etc...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:14 PM

Art,

This is discussed in Green's 'Only A Miner'. Travis recorded his influential version in 1946. It was derived from the Buckle Busters' variant via 'Texas Ruby' Owens with whom Travis had worked before WW2 on WLW, Cincinnati. Travis changed the chorus and added bits. Evidently, his 'Harlan' stanza caused many people to think he was from Harlan/Hazard area, but he hailed from Ebenezer, KY, about 200 miles away. In later years, he said: 'It's strange that people would get mixed up about the old hammer song. I've sung about heaven all my life and nobody ever thought I was from there'. His reference to 'hammer song' is pertinent. Green in 'Only a Miner' and Norm Cohen in 'Long Steel Rail' make the point that the song is not occupation specific, but rather a 'hammer' song that was adapted for various tasks associated with the steel hammer. Green groups the songs in this complex into 'hammer' and 'roll' songs.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:18 PM

Mention of "Long Steel Rail" - Cohen surely lists a lot of Hammer recordings. Seems everyone and his pet dog put out a version, as the cliche goes.


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Subject: ADD: John Henry / Nine Pound Hammer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 11:23 PM

In Land Where the Blues Began, Alan Lomax calls this a work-song version of "John Henry." Singer was "Blind Sid" Hemphill.

1.
This is the hammer
Killed John Henry,
Laid him low,
Laid him low.

2.
Take this hammer
To the captain,
Tell him he's gone,
Tell him he's gone.

3.        
When you hear that
Bulldog a-barkin,
Somebody roun,
Somebody roun,

4.
When you hear that
Peafowl a-hollerin,
G'ina rain,
G'ina rain.

5.
I don't like no
Right black woman,
Black myself,
Black myself


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 12:31 AM

Stewie, thanks. Strange, I've got all three of those books---Only A Miner, Long Steel Rail, and Land Where The Blues Began------but it's been at least 25 years since I seriously looked into the first two of those. Archie did a fine job on Only A Miner I've always thought.

Art


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 06:50 AM

In a paper in Journal of American Folk-Lore from 1915, entitled 'Songs and rhymes from the South', E. C. Perrow lists a song entitled 'Franky' (obviously a version of Franky and Johnny), which has been collected from 'Mississippi; Country whites' in 1909. Two stanzas in this song suggest the use of bull-dog as as a gun:

Franky went down to the bayou;
Franky heard a bull-dog bark;
Franky said "That's Albert
Hiding in the dark,
For he's my man; but he's done me wrong."

Franky went down a dark alley;
Heard a bull-dog bark:
And there lay her Albert,
Shot right through the heart.
"Oh, he's my man; but he's done me wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Rex
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 05:16 PM

I sure do appreciate folks straightening this out. I always thought that Merle Travis wrote it too. Seems it just ain't that simple.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 11:01 PM

-Brian

Thanks for the corroboration of the use of "bull dog" as a revolver.

When he barks he roars like thunder
When he barks he roars like thunder
When he barks he roars like thunder
He barks at you baby he barks at you babe

The use of bull dog is a blues "double entendre."

Any other versions or info?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:55 PM

Sharp collected two versions of "Swannanoa Tunnel" with the 'Bull-dog' verse:

From Sarah Buckner and Mrs. Ford 1916:

"Swannanoa Tunnel" No. 91 A:

When you hear my bull-dog barking,
Somebody 'round, baby somebody round.

When you hear my pistol firing,
Another man dead baby, another man dead.

Sharp's version from 1918 also has the same verses but in different places. He also hears "Swannanoa Town, O" for "Swannanoa Tunnel" as pointed out by Dick Greenhaus. The same lyrics appear in "My Old Hammah" from Carl Sandburg's book.

Is East Colorado Blues an early version of Nine Popund Hammer?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: masato sakurai
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:38 AM

"Nine Pound Hammer": Frank Blevins & His Tar Heel Rattlers (Columbia 15280; Recorded: Unknown; Issued: June 1928), from Honkingduck.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Bert
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:53 AM

Hmmm, you know I don't think I've ever seen a nine pound hammer.

When I was a boilermaker we use seven pounders and fourteen pounders and just occasionally a 28 pounder (Called a Mundy Hammer)

I a nine pounder strictly an American beastie or does it only exist in folklore?


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 02:13 AM

Masato,

Meade gives a 17 April 1928 recording date for Blevins' 'Nine Pound Hammer'. Marshall Wyatt also confirms this date in his notes to 'Music From The Lost Provinces' Old Hat CD-1001 - lovely CD! The only other side recorded by Blevins on that date was 'Don't Get Trouble In Your Mind' which had a tune similar to 'Mollie and Tenbrooks' ['Nine Pound Hammer', 'Don't Get Trouble ...' and 4 other Blevins sides are reissued on 'Music From the Lost Provinces']. Meade gives an October 1928 issue date for 'Nine Pound Hammer' which conflicts with the June date given by Honkingduck.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NINE POUND HAMMER (from Frank Blevins)
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 09:17 AM

Here's my transcription of Blevins' Nine Pound Hammer from Honkingduck. Couldn't get the third verse, can anyone hear that one?

Lyr. Add: NINE POUND HAMMER Frank Blevins
Columbia 15280; Recorded: April 17, 1928

(Fiddle intro)

Nine pound hammer (nine pound hammer),
Is just a little too heavy (a little too heavy),
For my size (for my size), yes, for my size.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (How I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle fill)

Oh way up on the mountain (way up on the mountain)
For to see my darlin' ( )
And I ain't comin' back (I ain't comin' back), Lord, I ain't comin' back.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (Roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (How I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle fill)

?????????????
Found a nine pound Hammer (nine pound hammer)
They was lookin' at God (lookin' at God), they was lookin' at God.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (Roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (How I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle fill)

Nine pound hammer (nine pound hammer),
Is just a little too heavy (a little too heavy),
For my size (for my size), buddy, for my size.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (Roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (how I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle fill)

Nine pound hammer (Nine pound hammer),
Well it killed John Henry (killed John Henry)
Ain't gonna kill me (Ain't gonna kill me), ain't gonna kill me.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (Roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (How I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle fill)

Nine pound hammer (nine pound hammer),
Is just a little too heavy (a little too heavy),
For my size (for my size), buddy, for my size.

Chorus: Roll on buddy! (Roll on buddy!)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
Baby how I gonna roll (how I gonna roll), when the wheels won't go.

(Fiddle Outro)


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM

Add "Roll On, Babe," collected by John Lomax in northeastern Ky. early 1930s. Surely part of the same family.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 09:33 AM

Does anyone know the connection to the "Roll on, John" songs by Buell
Kazee and others?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 02:27 PM

George Pegram from Statesville NC with Red Parham recorded "Roll on Budddy, Roll On" which has to be a variant. Got to hear them do it live in the fifties at the Ashville Folk Festival. Jack Elliott recorded it with Derrol Adams based on the Pegram version in Europe.

Frank


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLL ON BUDDY (from Ramblin' Jack Elliott
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 09:54 PM

There's a Jack Elliott version in the second 'Roll on Buddy' link in Joe's useful 'related threads' at the top of this thread. The fullest recorded version by Jack and Derroll was in their early Italian sessions reissued on the 2CD set 'Selection of America' De Luxe DCD-768. More accessibly, it was also reissued on Tradition label. The version by them on the Topic Legendary Masters reissue - Jack Elliott 'Ramblin' Jack' [Topic TSCD477] - omits the first and last stanzas in the following:

ROLL ON BUDDY

Roll on buddy, roll on
Roll on buddy, roll on
You wouldn't roll so slow if you knew what I know
And it's roll on buddy, roll on

I got a home in Tennessee
I got a home in Tennessee
I got a home down in sunny Tennessee
And it's roll on buddy, roll on

Tempe wants a nine dollar shawl
Tempe wants a nine dollar shawl
I come over the hill with a forty dollar bill
And it's baby where's you been so long

Baby where you been so long
Yeah, baby where's you been so long
Well, I been in the pen with the rough and rowdy men
And its baby where's you been so long

Well, I never liked no railroad man
Yeah, never liked no railroad man
'Cos a railroad man will kill you if he can
Drink up your blood like wine

Baby, where'd you stay last night
Yeah, baby, where'd you stay last night
Well, I slept in the pen with the rough and rowdy men
And it's, baby, where'd you stay last night

Roll on buddy, roll on
Yeah, roll on buddy, roll on
You wouldn't roll so slow if you knew what I know
And it's roll on buddy, roll on

Source: Ramblin' Jack Elliott with Derroll Adams 'Early Sessions' Tradition TCD 1083.

The version that I have by George Pegram and Red Parham is short and sweet. It there's a 'wouldn't' at the beginning of line 3 of the chorus [which Jack sings and seems to make more sense] I can't hear it:

ROLL ON BUDDY

Chorus:
Roll on little buddy, roll on
Roll on little buddy, roll on
Rolls so slow, if you know what I know
Just roll on, little buddy, roll on

I got a little gal in Tennessee
I got a little gal in Tennessee
I a got a little gal down in East Tennessee
That's where I'm goin' to be

Chorus

I got a little home in Tennessee
I got a little home in Tennessee
I got a little home down in East Tennessee
That's where I'm goin' to be

Chorus

Source: Bascom Lamar Lunsford/George Pegram and Red Parham 'Music from South Turkey Creek' Rounder LP 0065.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 12:13 AM

Stewie,

Don't the "Roll on Buddy, Roll On" versions you posted more closely resemble "I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground"?

How are these related to the "Nine Pound Hammer"? I realize that the "Roll on" lyric is the same but aren't they different songs?

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:01 AM

Richie

I posted them because they were raised by Frank in his posting above and I thought there may be some interest in them.

They are unrelated to 'Nine Pound Hammer' except for the 'roll on' motif. As you say, in structure and content, they closely resemble 'Mole in the ground' - and, in style, also banjo songs like 'New River Train', 'My Last Old Dollar Is Gone' etc.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Roll on, John' - Buell Kazee
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:30 AM

Richie

You were interested in Buell Kazee's 'Roll on, John' [Banjo tuning, GDGBD]. Buell said that his 'Roll On, John' 'must have been a perversion of "Roll On, Buddy"' with 'vagrant stanzas' [his term for 'floaters']. Loyal Jones noted that the first and last stanzas of Buell's version 'are related to the teamster trade of hauling a commodity, probably coal, with income dependent on delivered loads'. [From notes in booklet accomanying 'Buell Kazee' JA009.

ROLL ON JOHN

Oh, roll on, John
Don't roll so slow
When the sun goes down
You'll roll no more

Oh, who's been here
Since I've been gone?
It's old Aunt Jennie
With a nightcap on

Oh, I dreamed last night
Oh, Cora Lou was dead
With an apron string
Tied around her head

Oh, roll on, John
And make your time
For I'm broke down
And I can't make mine

Source: transcription in booklet accompanying Buell Kazee 'Buell Kazee' June Appal LP JA009 [1978].

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAMMER SONG (from Lomax)
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 07:41 AM

Stewie,

Thanks for the posts.

Here's a related work song from Texas:

Lyr. Add: HAMMER SONG (From the Lomax 1939 recording trip)
For audio:Click here

Well, my hammer, (hammer ring)
Got a ten-pound hammer, (hammer ring)

Cap'n went to Houston, (hammer ring)
To git me a hammer, (hammer ring)

Way down in de bottom, (hammer ring)
Hew out de live oak, (hammer ring)

Son, you got fever, (hammer ring)
Son, you got fever, (hammer ring)

Said, come here, nigger, (hammer ring)
Don't you see you got fever? (hammer ring)

Oh, sergeant . . . .
Ain't got no fever. . . . .
Better get to rollin'. . . . . gonna hang you.
Oh, cap'n..

Hammer am a ringin'
Ringin' for de captain,

Ringin' for de sergeant.
What de matter wid my pardner?

Oh, my hammer, (hammer ring)
Way down in the timber.

I'm goin' to Austin, (hammer ring)
Have a talk wid de Gov'nor.

I heard dat sergeant
Talkin' to Marble Eye.

Notes: Sung by a group of Negro convicts, Clemens state farm, Brazoria, Texas, April 16, 1939.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 08:25 AM

This version collected by Cecil Sharp is probably the earliest printed version of Nine Pound Hammer/Swannanoa Tunnel. Sharp collected two versions of "Swannanoa Tunnel" both have the 'Bull-dog' verse. It's interesting to note that the usually accurate Sharp not only got the title wrong calling "Swannanoa Tunnel" "Swannanoa Town O"
but the "hoodows" lyric in the second verse is probably "hoot owls" as footnoted. These versions probaby exsisted in the mountains sometime after the completion of the tunnel in the late 1800's.

Lyr. Add: SWANNANOA TOWN
From Sarah Buckner and Mrs. Ford at Black Mountain, NC Sept. 19, 1916.
"Swannanoa Town" No. 91 A from EFSSA:

*Swannanoa Town, O, Swannanoa Town, O,
That's my home, Baby, that's my home.

When you hear the **hoodows hollering
Sign of rain, baby, sign of rain.

When you hear my bull-dog barking,
Somebody 'round, baby somebody round.

When you hear my pistol firing,
Another man dead, baby, another man dead.

I'll be back all in September,
'Twon't be long, baby, 'Twon't be long.

Look for me, 'till your eye runs water
I'll be at home baby, I'll be at home.

O Lord, Ella, what's your trouble?
I have none, baby, I have none.

Don't you remember, last December,
The wind blowed cold, baby, the wind blowed cold.

I'm going back to, *Swannanoa Town, O,
That's my home, Baby, that's my home.

*Swannanoa Town, O= Swannanoa Tunnel
**hoot owls


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,scott b.
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 01:20 AM

Charlie Bowman wrote both "Nine Pound Hammer" and "Roll On Buddy, Roll On"...as well as "east Tennessee Blues"...I know because I have recordings of both songs and they both date back to 1927....plus he was my great grandfather...if youd like more info on charlie...email me at ssadler_2003@yahoo.com merle travis covered "Nine Pound Hammer" yes, so did countless others, heck someone even named their band NPH lol oh well


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Nerd
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 02:35 AM

From the above, Scott B., it seems decidedly unlikely that your great-grandfather wrote this song in 1927...by 1928 it was being recorded in many different versions, and precursors were collected as early as 1918.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 04:06 AM

Chapter 9 of Archie Green's 'Only A Miner' has a full discussion of Charlie Bowman's 'authorship' of 'Nine Pound Hammer' and 'Roll On Buddy'. In respect of the former, Charles Wolfe sums up Green's findings in his note to the second volume of the Document 'Hill Billies' reissue series: Charlie Bowman taught his remembered words and tune to the group - 'it was put together by Bowman and his brothers based on songs he (Charlie) had heard black section hands singing in the mountains when he was a boy'. Bowman told Green in 1961 that he had 'no full-blown piece in mind before the session' in 1927. Green suggests the 'Nine Pound Hammer' tune 'originated in the singing of Gray Station Negro labourers', but Bowman seems to have modelled his 'Roll On Buddy (recorded in Oct 1928) on 'a mountain frolic melody usually called "Rock About My Saro Jane"'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 10:13 AM

FYI
This may very well be entirely unrelated to the "Bulldog" and "roll'em" references in Blues songs..

However,in 2000 I collected a foot stomping cheer from African American girls ages 8-10 years old living in the Pittsburgh,Pa area that mentions both "bulldog" and "roll it":


All                Bull Dog, Ah Bull Dog        
Soloist #1        My name is Jasmine
Group                Ah Bulldog
Soloist #1        They call me Jas
Group                Ah Bulldog
Soloist #1        And I'm here to show you
                how to do the Bulldog
Group                Ah Bulldog
                First you roll it
                Control it.
                And you bounce it
                Announce it.        
                Then you pop it.                                                 Don't stop it.
                Then you stop.                                                         Think.
                Ah ring ah ding ding {baby}
{repeat entire cheer with the next soloists who inserts her name and nickname}
--
"Roll it"; "bounce", "pop it" are dance motions i.e. rolling the hips doing the "Bounce" and "Pop" dance. The "Pop" is performed by moving the pelvis muscles in and out to the beat and the "Bounce" is done similarly. "Stop" signifies the right arm extended, palms up gesture that is closely associated with the R&B group Supremes'"Stop in the Name of Love" song; On "Ah ring ah ding ding" the girls pretend they are talking on the telephone {connoting popularity}.

To my knowledge, there was no R&B dance in 2000 called "The Bulldog". Is anyone familiar with any dance with this name then or earlier?

As I said, it's probably that this has nothing to do with the Blues songs except that these children {and we all} are the inheritors of those songs and knowingly and unknowingly build on them. And that's all good as long as credit is given to those who were the originators.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 10:20 AM

Sorry for the formatting.

Here's one correction.

Then You stop {or "Don't Stop"}
Think
Ah ring ah ding ding {baby}
--

On the word "think", the girls put a finger to the side of their head.
--

Best wishes,
Azizi ;o))


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 08:03 PM

Summarizing early dates-
"Roll On, Buddy" appeared in lines by Robert W. Gordon, 1924. "Roll On, Johnnie," may have been heard in 1891 (Archie Green, 1972, "Only a Miner," Univ. Illinois Press; Norm Cohen, 1981, "Long Steel Rail," Univ. Illinois Press).

Dorothy Scarborough published lines including the 'nine-pound hammer' collected by her in 1925 ("On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs").

Nine-pound hammer- kill John Henry-
But 't won't kill me, babe- 't won't kill me.

If I live- to see December-
I'm goin' home, love- I'm goin' home.

See claims in thread 75316: Hammer


I'm goin' back- to the red-clay country-
That's my home, babe- that's my home.

The song became popular with the 1927 recording of "Nine Pound Hammer" by Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters (Brunswick 177). "Roll On John," Buell Kazee, appeared in 1927, and "Roll On Buddy," Bowman Brothers, 1928. Norm Cohen, "Long Steel Rail," p. 571-582.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 08:13 PM

"Roll On Buddy" song fragment published in 1924 by Robert W. Gordon:

And it's roll on, buddy-
What makes you roll so slow?
Your buddy is almost broke-
Down on the K. N. O.

"Adventure," Jan. 10, 1924; quoted in Norm Cohen, "Long Steel Rail, p. 574.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM

Missed any refer. to Leadbelly's "Take This Hammer". I was told it could be about a guy dying on the job. The job could be puttin' a tunnel through a mountain (John Henry), breakin' boulders in a prison gang, pounding spikes into railroad ties/rails.

Take this hammuh(wow), 'n' carry it to de captain(wow).
(2 repeats -- the (wow)s are vocalizations of the beat of the hammer)
Tell him Ahm gawn, man,
Ya kin tell him Ahm gawn.(wow)

If he ast yew(wow), was Ah runnin'(wow)
(2 repeats)
Tell him Ah 'uz flyin', boys,
Tell him Ah 'us flyin.(wow)

If he ast yew(wow), was Ah laughin'(wow)
(2 repeats)
Tell him Ah 'uz cryin', boys.
Tell him Ah 'uz cryin'.(wow)

Also, the words "man" and "boys" are vocalizations indicating the beat of the hammer. This being a work song. There was also a cornbread-and-molasses verse sometimes.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 09:28 PM

One version has a ten pound hammer, another, a twelve-pounder. These were both clearly John Henry songs.

Guy Johnson collected a very long John Henry song, from Onah L. Spencer of Cincinnati, OH, with this verse:

John Henry told the cap'n,
When you go to town,
Buy me a nine pound hammah
An' I'll drive this steel drill down.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM

My favorite versions are MI John Hurt (Spike Driver Blues) and Jesse Fuller. But so many great singers have done versions...


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,scott bowman
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 11:34 PM

http://www.deaddisc.com/songs/Nine_Pound_Hammer.htm    heres a list of those that recorded nine pound hammer...note thqat the hillbillies are 1st on the list


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST,scott b
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM

One theory of the evolution of this song is given in Tennessee Strings by Charles K Wolfe. Charles Bowman, the fiddler with the Hill Billies, claimed to have learned some of the song from railway construction gangs in East Tennessee in 1905. He added to it and with Al Hopkins, also of the Hill Billies, arranged it for a recording session in 1927. It is this arrangement that has become the 'traditional' song of the present day.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 11:44 PM

as Nine Pound Hammer
Hill Billies, 1927
Single, Monroe Brothers, 1936
Mountain Music Bluegrass Style, Various Artists (Julian Smiley Hobbs), 1959
Robert Pete Williams, 1959
Brothers Four Greatest Hits, Brothers Four, 1962
Behind These Walls, Hank Ferguson, 1963
Got A Mind To Ramble, Tom Rush, 1963
Songs of the Southland, Harry and Jeannie West, 1963
The World's Best Five String Banjo, Don Reno and Red Smiley, 1963
Single, Adcock Family, 1964
All Star Hootenanny, Various Artists (Johnny Cash), 1964
Appalachian Swing!, The Kentucky Colonels, 1964
Triangle, The Beau Brummels, 1967
20 Bluegrass Favorites, Don Reno and Bill Harrell With The Tennessee Cutups, 196?
Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends, Earl Scruggs, 1972
The Kentucky Colonels, Kentucky Colonels, 1974
Feast Here Tonight, Monroe Brothers, 1975
I Wasn't Born To Rock 'n Roll, Roland White, 1976
Outright Bold-Faced Lies, Art Thieme, 1977
The Bluegrass Session, Vassar Clements, 1978
Live In Las Vegas, Tex Williams, 1979
Manzanita, Tony Rice, 1979
Recordings Of Grayson and Whitter, Grayson and Whitter, 197?
Guitar, Tony Rice, 197?
Bluegrass Classics, Jim and Jesse and The Virginia Boys, 197?
Live At The Bluegrass Festival, Lester Flatt, 1986
The Epic Bluegrass Hits, Jim and Jesse, 1987
Back Home, Merle Travis, 1987
Are You From Dixie? Great Country Brother Teams of the 1930's, Various Artists (Bill Monroe), 1988
Home Is Where The Heart Is, David Grisman, 1988
Stanley Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, 1988
Live At The Old Quarter, Townes Van Zandt, 1989
Merle Travis 1944-1946, Merle Travis, 1990
Blues, Songs and Ballads, Tom Rush, 1990
Bluegrass 1959-1969, Bill Monroe, 1991
Capitol Collectors Series, Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1991
Come Along and Ride This Train, Johnny Cash, 1991
Collection, Hank Thompson, 1991
The Fool, Sanford Clark, 1992
Great American Train Songs, Various Artists (Merle Travis), 1993
Rockin' Rollin', Sanford Clark, 1993
The Kitchen Tapes, Red Allen and Frank Wakefield, 1994
The Music Of Bill Monroe, Bill Monroe, 1994
Rounder Bluegrass Guitar, Various Artists (Kentucky Colonels), 1996
Classic Railroad Songs, Vol. 1 Steel Rails, Various Artists (Doc Watson / David Grisman), 1997
Too Many Years, Jorma Kaukonen, 1998
Time-Life Treasury of Folk, Vol. 3, Various Artists (Johnny Cash), 199?
Long Journey Home, The Stanley Brothers, 19??
Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters, 19??
Hillbilly Music....Thank God, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Merle Travis), 19??
Folk Songs Of Our Land, Flatt and Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys, 19??
The Railroad in Folk Song, Various Artists (Monroe Brothers), 19??
The Legendary Monroe Brothers Collection, Monroe Brothers, 19??
Songs Of The Railroad Recorded 1924-1934, Various Artists (Al Hopkins And His Buckle Busters), 19??
Shenandoah Valley Cut-Ups, 19??
Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends / Nashville Airplane, Flatt & Scruggs, 2000
Kentucky Home, Tim Lake, 2000
33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, Clarence White, 2000
Live!, The Beau Brummels, 2000
American Roots: A History of American Folk Music, Various Artists (Merle Travis), 2000
Pickin' & Grinnin', South Austin Jug Band, 2002

as Roll On Buddy
Monroe Brothers, 1937
The Rambling Boys, Jack Elliott and Derroll Adams, 1958
Pickin' and Blowin', George Pegram and Red Parham, 195?
Long Journey Home, Kentucky Colonels, 1964
McGee Brothers and Arthur Smith - Old Timers of the Grand Old Opry, McGee Brothers and Arthur Smith, 1964
Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers, 1964
Jack Elliott, Jack Elliott, 1964
Ed Vogler and Cullen Galyean with the Partners, 1966
Belafonte On Campus, Harry Belafonte, 1967
Doc Watson On Stage, featuring Merle Watson, Doc Watson, 1971
Fiddlers Convention In Mountain City, Tennessee, Various Artists (Charlie Bowman and His Brothers), 1972
Bean Blossom, Bill Monroe, 1973
Belafonte - Concert In Japan, Harry Belafonte, 1974
Essential, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, 1974
Feast Here Tonight, Monroe Brothers, 1975
Close To Home, Roscoe Holcomb, 1975
Music From South Turkey Creek, George Pegram and Red Parham, 1976
Live In Japan, Del McCoury, 1980
Let Me Fall - Old Time Bluegrass from the Virginia- North Carolina Border, Galyean and Harrison, 1984
Old Time North Carolina Mountain Music, David and Billie Ray Johnson, 1985
With The Greatest Respect, Alex Campbell, 1987
A Man And His Music, Harry Belafonte, 1989
Remembering Merle, Doc Watson, 1992
Bluegrass 1959-1969, Bill Monroe, 1991
The Music Of Bill Monroe, Bill Monroe, 1994
Old Time Music, New Lost City Ramblers and Friends, 1994
The Vanguard Years, Doc Watson, 1995
Vanguard: Roots of Folk, Various Artists (Ramblin' Jack Elliott), 2002


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 12:38 AM

In respect of 'Nine Pound Hammer', the above list omits Frank Blevins and His Tar Heel Rattlers (1928), Grayson & Whitter (1928), Ernest and Eddie Stoneman (1934) and an unissued recording for ARC by Clarence Greene (1931). [cf Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' p 414].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 12:10 PM

Guest's list omits the first recording date:
"Nine Pound Hammer," Al Hopkins and his Buckle Busters, May 1927, NYC; released on Brunswick 177, Oct. 1927. (The list does have it near the end listed in a collection, 19??). Fron Norm Cohen, "Long Steel Rail," p. 577.

What is data for the Hill Billies, 1927? Guest ScottB says Bowman was the arranger for Hopkins' recording. Not listed in Cohen.
The Merle Travis should be listed as: "Nine Pound Hammer," recorded August 8, 1946, released in 1947 on Capitol 48000 and later re-issues.

Further note on the 1925 printing of "Nine Pound Hammer" by Scarborough (quoted from Cohen, Long Steel Rail, p. 578), and added data on first publication:

"Nine Pound Hammer," in Dorothy Scarborough, 'On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs,' 1925; Harvard University Press, 289 pp. (reprinted, Hatboro, PA: Folklore Associates, 1963), p. 220. "First published version with that title. Sent by Evelyn Cary Williams of Lynchburg, heard from singing of Charles Calloway of Radford County, a black road-laborer."


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 07:18 PM

Interesting version by Paul Robeson, titled "This Ol' Hammer"


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 10:15 PM

Any recording data for "The Hill Billies," 1927? Can't find any data on a "Nine Pound Hammer" of this date.


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Subject: RE: Lyr. & Origin: Nine Pound Hammer Songs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 09:53 AM

I listened to the Frank Blevins recording, and that third verse has me stumped, too. I did hear a few things differently than Richie did, however:

"how can I roll" rather than "how I gonna roll"
"wheel" rather than "wheels" (I don't know why.)
"baby, for my size" rather than "buddy, for my size"


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