Spike Driver Blues

Lyrics: Traditional, arr Mississippi John Hurt
Music: Traditional, arr Mississippi John Hurt

Played by Jerry with the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band and with John Kahn; and more recently by the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Not to be confused with Nine Pound Hammer.

Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone

I don't want your cold iron shackles
Round my leg, round my leg, round my leg
I don't want your cold iron shackles
Round my leg, round my leg, round my leg

It's a long way from Colorado
To my home, to my home, to my home
It's a long way from Colorado
To my home, to my home, to my home

This is the hammer that killed John Henry
Won't kill me, won't kill me, won't kill me
This is the hammer that killed John Henry
Won't kill me, won't kill me, won't kill me

Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
This is the hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
This is the version played by the New Riders:
Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone

John Henry, he left his hammer laying side the road
Laying side the road, laying side the road
John Henry, he left his hammer laying side the road
Laying side the road, laying side the road

This is the hammer that killed John Henry
Won't kill me, won't kill me, won't kill me
This is the hammer that killed John Henry
Won't kill me, won't kill me, won't kill me

It's a long way from Colorado
To my home, to my home, to my home
It's a long way from Colorado
To my home, to my home, to my home

Take this hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
This is the hammer and carry it to the captain
Tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone, tell him I'm gone
Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     28 Feb 1986 Pure Jerry: Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium Jerry Garcia/John Kahn
     31 Oct 1987 Pure Jerry 2: Lunt-Fontanne Jerry Garcia Band
      3 Dec 1987 Almost Acoustic Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band