This gem was written by Mel Tillis and Wayne P. Walker in the early 1960’s and recorded by Doc Watson and others. I know it from the singing of a local guitar player and friend, Bob Jones. Bob has been an inspiration to me and though I like singing “Walk On Boy” I still think of it as Bob’s song.

Walk On Boy

Walk On Boy

I was born one morning
Rain was pouring down
I heard my mammy say to my daddy
Call the boy John Henry Brown

    Walk on boy
    Walk on down the road
    There ain't nobody in this whole wide world
    A’ gonna help you carry your load
    Walk on boy

I left home one evening
Just about the age of ten
I got me a job on the levee lord
Toting water for the hard working men

Well the rich man make all the money
The poor man do all the work
The rich man living mighty high on the hog
Poor man live on the dirt

My old pappy told me
"Some advice I wanna give to you --
Son, find a good woman, be good to her,
An' she's gonna be good to you."

If anyone should ask you,
"Just who's that fella Brown?"
You can tell him I'm the man who left his hammer smokin'
Where he beat that steam drill down.

Now you all heard this story
'Bout the hammer that weighed nine pounds
The cat what swung it way up on the mountain
Was little John Henry Brown
I had some great audiences this summer at the Towersey, Whitby and Bradfield festivals in England. Here is one of the songs that folks seemed to enjoy, yet another take on the John Henry legend, “Walk On Boy”.