John Henry

As part of the "Present at the Creation" series, Stephen Wade traces the roots of "John Henry." The song tells the story about a legendary black construction laborer of mythic strength, brawn and heroism. He's been the stuff of American legends, art, and scholarship for over a century. The song remains one of the most enduring in American folk music although the historic figure's background remains murky.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: