Breedloves's Folk Songs


“Take This Hammer” is a prison work song. It was collected by John and Alan Lomax.
The song “Nine Pound Hammer” has a few phrases in common with this song.
Swannanoa Tunnel is similar, and these groups of songs are referred to as ‘hammer songs’
or ‘roll songs’. According to the Columbia State University, the earliest collected version
was made by Newman Ivey White in 1915. One the most famous recorded versions was
done by the Monroe Brothers in 1936. It has been covered by many artists over the years.
This nine pound hammer is a little too heavy
For my size oh baby for my size
I’m goin’ on the mountain I gotta see my baby
And I ain’t comin’ back no I ain’t comin’ back
Say roll on buddy don’t you roll so slow
How can I go when the wheels won’t roll
Say roll on buddy pull a load o’coal
How can I go when the wheels won’t roll
[ guitar ]
Well it’s a long way to Harlan and a long way to Hazzard
Just to get a little brew just to get a little brew
Now when I’m long gone baby make my tombstone
Out of number nine coal out of number nine coal
Say roll on buddy…
[ steel ]
Say roll on buddy…

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