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Spike Driver Blues Tab

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Spike Driver Blues
Music and lyrics Mississippi John Hurt


Original Transcription Unknown
Updated and augmented by Jeff T

*Mississippi John Hurt would play this while tuned up a 1/2 step (the 
equivalent of playing with a capo on the first fret)*

The song is based around a G chord and repeats this throughout


e|---0-----|-3-------1-------|-3-----3---------|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-3-----0-|-----------------|-----------0-----|-----------------|-------0------0--|
G|---------|-----------------|-----------------|-0---------------|-----------3-----|
D|-----0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----2-------2---|-----2--------0--|
A|---------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|


|-----------------|---1---1-----0-1-|-0---------------|---3---3-----0-3-|
|-----------------|-----0-----3-----|-----------------|-----0-----3-----|
|-0---------0---0-|-----------------|-----------0---0-|-----------------|
|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|
|---------2-------|-----------------|---------2-------|-----------------|
|-3---------------|-3-------3-------|-3---------------|-3-------3-------|


|-----------------||---------||----------3-------|
|-----------------|*---------|*----------0-------|
|-----------0---0-||---------||----------0-------|
|-----0-------0---||-----0---||-----0----0-------|
|---------2-------|*---------|*----------2-------|
|-3---------------||-3-------||-3--------3-------|




John Henry was a steel driving man
Yes he went down
Well he went down


You just take this hammer and carry it to my captain
Oh tell him I'm gone
Won't you tell him I'm gone

John Henry, he left his hammer
Layin' aside the road
Layin' aside the road

John Henry, he left his hammer
All painted in red
All painted in red

You just take this hammer and carry it to my captain
Yes tell him I'm gone
Won't you tell him I'm gone

This is the hammer that killed John Henry
But it won't kill me
No it won't kill me

I walked all the way from East Colorado
Baby that's my home
Honey that's my home
That's where I'm goin'

You just take this hammer and carry it to my captain
Oh tell him I'm gone
Won't you tell him I'm gone


===============================================================

Alternative Verses
(Mississippi John Hurt sang the song differently on every version I've heard)

John Henry, he had a little wife
Name was Polly Ann
Name was Polly Ann

John Henry took sick in the bed
She drove steel like a man
Drove steel like a man

Take this hammer and carry it to my captain
Tell him I'm gone
Oh you tell him I'm gone
I'm sure he's gone

This is the hammer that killed John Henry
But it won't kill me
Won't kill me
Aint gonna kill me

John Henry, he left his hammer
All over in red
All over in red
That's why I'm goin'

John Henry was a steel driving boy
But he went down
But he went down
That's why I'm goin'


=====Alternative Tab - Version From 1928 Recording =====
             ======(slightly simpler)=======

e|---0-----|-3-------1-------|-3-----3---------|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-3-------|-----------------|-----------0-----|-----------------|-------0------0--|
G|---------|-----------------|-----------------|-0---------------|-----------3-----|
D|-----0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----2-------2---|-----2--------0--|
A|---------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|


|-----------------|-------1-----0---|-1---------------|-------3-----0---|
|-----------------|-----------3-----|-----------------|-----------3-----|
|-0---------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|
|---------2-------|-----------------|---------2-------|-----------------|
|-3---------------|-3-------3-------|-3---------------|-3-------3-------|


|-3---------------||---------||----------3-------|
|-----------------|*---------|*----------0-------|
|-----------------||---------||----------0-------|
|-----0-------0---||-----0---||-----0----0-------|
|---------2-------|*---------|*----------2-------|
|-3---------------||-3-------||-3--------3-------|

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