Spike Drivers Blues
Publish DateNot ListedAuthor(s)Mississippi John Hurt

Hammer killed John Henry, wont kill me

...is how Harry Smith summarizes this song in the liner notes to the last section of his Anthology of American Folk Music. The following is the original version John Hurt Recorded in 1928.

I however always preferred the version released in 1966:

The song is a rejection of the live by the sword die by the sword mentality portrayed in the traditional John Henry / Gonna Die With A Hammer in My Hand Motif, which Harry Smith conveniently included in the same set.