Song Lyrics

John Hardy

Traditional

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John Hardy was a fightin’ man
Carried a razor everyday
Well he killed a man in Mobile town
You ought to see my Johnny get away
Ought to see my Johnny get away

Well get away, get away
Poor John, poor John

John Hardy was standin’ at the bar
So drunk he could not see
Along came a man with a warrant in his hand
Cryin’ Johnny boy why don’t you come with me
Johnny boy why don’t you come with me

Well get away, get away
Poor John, poor John

John Hardy had a pretty little girl
Kept her dressed in blue
Saw her in the hangin’ crowd
Cryin’ Johnny boy I’ll be true to you
Johnny boy I’ll be true to you

Well get away, get away
Poor John, poor John

I’ve been to the north and I’ve been to the south
Been this whole world ‘round
Well I’ve lived in the east and I’ve lived in the west
And this will be my buryin’ ground
this will be my buryin’ ground

Yes I’ve been this wild world over
Yes I’ve been this whole world ‘round
And I’ve been to the river
And I’ve been baptized
Take me to my buryin’ grounds

Well get away, get away
Poor John, poor John, poor John

Footnotes to John Hardy

"John Hardy" is a traditional American folk song based on the life of a railroad worker living in McDowell County, West Virginia in the Spring of 1893. The historical John Hardy is believed to have gotten into a drunken dispute during a craps game held near Keystone, and subsequently killed a man named Thomas Drews. Hardy was found guilty of murder in the first degree, and was hanged on January 19, 1894, with 3,000 people allegedly in attendance. Hardy is believed to have made peace with the Lord the morning before his death by being baptized in a river. The earliest known recordings are credited to Eva Davis for Columbia in 1924, Ernest Stoneman for Okeh in 1925, and Buell Kazee for Brunswick in 1927.

Transcriptions of John Hardy

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