You can either thank or blame frizztext and his very fine blog http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/transporting-music-to-the-next-generation/ for this Leadbelly song which I’m trying once more to sing, because frizztext reminded me about it.

It’s a very well-known prison song, although I always thought that it was talking about a runaway slave. Many people have recorded it, and, like all these folksongs, there are lots of different versions and lyrics. The Nine-Pound Hammer song also shares its roots with Take this Hammer. Leadbelly’s version is most distinctive, and the one that I heard first. It’s quite simple to play, so I hope you will try it too.

Take this hammer and give it to the captain

Take this hammer and give it to the captain

Take this hammer and give it to the captain

Tell him I’m gone.

If he ask you was I laughing

If he ask you was I laughing

If he ask you was I laughing

Tell him I was crying

If he ask you was I runnin’

If he ask you was I runnin’

If he ask you was I runnin’

Tell him I was flyin’

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