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Hardy, John

Subject: Last night's (3/31) show- questions
From: Ed Ricardo (
Date: 2 Apr 1997 07:33:30 -0500

In article <97091.175337AWHITE31@MAINE.MAINE.EDU> 
:   Well, the same setup for this tour seems likely, though
: I noticed from the cue sheet "John Hardy" was listed as an
: alternate to "Oh, Babe it Ain't No Lie".  Do you think 
: "John Hardy" means "John Wesley Harding" or is there
: a folk song by that title.  If I am not mistaken, Dylan has 
: never performed "John Wesley Harding" live.
: Adam

John Hardy was a brave little man
He carried a pistol every day
He killed a man in Shallow Town
'Twas a sight to see John Hardy getting away, Lord, Lord
'Twas a sight to see John Hardy getting away

John Hardy was standing at the gambling bar And was not
concerning the game; Up stepped a lady, threw down half a dollar,
Said, "Deal John Hardy in the game," etc.

John Hardy picked up the half a dollar
And threw it against the ground,
Saying, "The very first man that wins my money,
I sure will blow him down."

A big buck nigger he won the money
And picked it up from the ground;
John Hardy he drew out his pistol
And shot that nigger down.

John Hardy got on an old freight train,
The old freight train was too late;
And if the old train had n't a-been behind time,
John Hardy would have made his escape.

John Hardy was a-standing at the station bars,
So dark he could not see;
Up stepped a policeman and took him by the arm,
Says, "Johnny, come and go with me."

The policeman he arrested John
And brought him on to jail;
They no bail allowed for a murderer,
And they locked John Hardy up in jail.

John wrote to his father and mother to come
And get him out on bail;
They no bond allowed for murdering crime;
So they kept John Hardy in jail.

John's father and mother crossed the deep blue sea,
To get him out on bail;
Says, "There 's no bond for a murdering man."
So they kept John Hardy in jail.

John Hardy had a pretty little wife,
She always went dressed in green;
And coming down on the hanging ground,
Says, "Johnny, you were always too mean."

John Hardy had a true little boy,
He was all dressed in black;
As coming down on the hanging ground,
Says, "Papa, I wish that you were back."

John Hardy had a true little girl,
She always dressed in red;
As coming down on the hanging ground,
Says, "Papa, I would rather be dead."

"I've been to the East and I've been to the West
I've been the wide world round;
I've been to the river and I've been baptized,
And now I'm on my hanging ground."

John Hardy was hanged in 1894 in West Virginia. Could John Hardy (gambler
and murderer) have been the same man as John Henry (the steel driver)? 

The song was covered by Bob Dylan in the April 1987 tour rehearsals. 

If you take a look in your Dylan collection upou will find you have a
version of the song done by Pete Seeger right there on your shelves!

Reach for your All Star Hootenanny (Columbia, CL 2122, CS 8922, 1963) which
you bought for the final Bob Dylan track. Track 3 is John Henry performed
by Pete Seeger! 

Easy to forget all the songs by others on albums in your collection but it
can be worth listening more widely than to the Dylan alone, if only for the
foreshadowing qualities of such listening... 


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