The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4018   Message #616119
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
25-Dec-01 - 01:18 AM
Thread Name: Origins: John Henry
Subject: RE: The origins of John Henry
All of this depends on which informants and what locale. The fact remains that there is no solid evidence to support either story.
John Hardy and "John Henry" may be two different people. (Some think there may be two John Hardys!)
More and more, I incline to the idea that the songs in all of their variants are composite, glorifying all of the the old steel drivers. I prefer the West Virginia origin, but that is only a personal inclination.
See post by Norm Cohen, author of "Long Steel Rail." Also posts by Barry Finn and Bruce O.
A folk song is generally legend, but based on some event or group of events, with a hero or heros increased to mythic proportions.