John Henry
By: traditional
Original Performance: Woody Guthrie
Written by: traditional

  1. John Henry
    Available on Beck And Dava.
    Beck Hansen: Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals, whistling
John Henry [Version (a)]:

John Henry when he was a baby
Sittin' on his pappy's knee
Took a little hammer in his little right hand
And said "Hammer be the death of me,
Lord God, hammer be the death of me!"
The Song:

"John Henry" is an old folk song, Beck probably learned it off of Woody Guthrie. I say "learned" cautiously, because Beck, after the first verse, forgets the rest. He proceeds to whistle the vocal melody a bit, before whistling "You Are My Sunshine" instead.

Beck's loose cover can be found a very informal tape made of what seems to be him and some friends singing songs at a house party or something, circa 1990.