Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: John Wesley Hardy? / Harding / Hardin

Related thread:
Lyr Req: John Wesley Harding (Bob Dylan) (2) (closed)


Inükshük 05 Sep 03 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,BTMP 05 Sep 03 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,pdq 05 Sep 03 - 12:36 PM
Amos 05 Sep 03 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,pdq 05 Sep 03 - 01:15 PM
Candyman(inactive) 05 Sep 03 - 02:38 PM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 03 - 03:43 PM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 03 - 04:04 PM
Little Hawk 05 Sep 03 - 04:14 PM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 03 - 04:19 PM
Inükshük 05 Sep 03 - 06:15 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Inükshük
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:42 AM

I have been reseaching this song all afternoon. All kinds of lyrics, some so sad that you would not want to ever sing them. I just want to know if there was an actual case. I've not been able to find any evidence at all, even though all he lyrics point to a historical occurance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: GUEST,BTMP
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:29 PM

Try searching on John Wesley Hardin. I believe this is the character to which Bob Dylan's song refers to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:36 PM

Dylan's song is "John Wesley Harding", and is thought by some to be about Lyndon Johnson. It is not historically factual.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:39 PM

HEre's the short history on JW Hardin, Texas badman: click here.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:15 PM

The song "John Wesley Harding" is typical Dylan in that words bring up images and make people think. It has no real connection to the badman John Wesley Hardin, other than the vague suggestion that Harding is from the wild west and is operating outside the law. BTW, Tim Hardin claimed to be decendant of John Wesley Hardin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 02:38 PM

Johnny Cash also has a song about John Wesley Hardin called "Hardin Wouldn't Run."

I'm wondering if the original poster was somehow combining John Wesley Hardin with John Hardy, who was, himself, a desperate little man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADDPOP: John Wesley Harding (Dylan)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 03:43 PM

For the sake of discussion, here are the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song. Seems reminiscent of Woody Guthrie's Pretty Boy Floyd.
-Joe Offer-


JOHN WESLEY HARDING
(Bob Dylan)

John Wesley Harding
Was a friend to the poor,
He trav'led with a gun in ev'ry hand.
All along this countryside,
He opened a many a door,
But he was never known
To hurt an honest man.

'Twas down in Chaynee County,
A time they talk about,
With his lady by his side
He took a stand.
And soon the situation there
Was all but straightened out,
For he was always known
To lend a helping hand.

All across the telegraph
His name it did resound,
But no charge held against him
Could they prove.
And there was no man around
Who could track or chain him down,
He was never known
To make a foolish move.

Copyright © 1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

source: http://bobdylan.com/songs/harding.html.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADDPOP: Hardin Wouldn't Run (Johnny Cash)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:04 PM

Here's the Johnny Cash song, obtained from http://www.allcountry.de. It doesn't seem to have much of a connection to the Dylan song, or to John Hardy.
-Joe Offer-


HARDIN WOULDN'T RUN
(Johnny Cash)

I know a man whose plow handle hand is quicker than a light
Wes Hardin is his name they say he travels in the night
For he might have to kill or walk around a fight

And if you ever saw Wes Hardin draw you know he can skin his gun
He won't say how many tried and died
Up against the top hand up against the wrong man cause Hardin' wouldn't run

He rode in like a Texas wind took the eastbound train
Goin' goin' with Jane Bowen till the law men caught up
So long Janie chin up I'll be back again

Off he went to Huntsville Prison so long Janie he cried
Fifteen years she waited till her heart broke and she died
And she left that bad land to wait up in the sky

Free at last the payin' past for all the wrong he did
First free air they let him breathe since he was a kid
So let him come and let him go and let him deal and bid

Near the border in El Paso Lawyer reads the sign
You won't find him there for business every day at nine
For business is real bad one client's all he's had in quite a long long time

Then sheriff Selman's boy broke in to Wes's woman's place
Up she jumped and pistol whipped him kicked him in the face
And John Selman demands revenge for this disgrace

You could see every night by candlelight in Hardin's favorite bar
She'd be hanging on his arm and very late they'd leave there
Headed for the Goose Hair glad it wasn't far

Right through the swinging doors John Selman came with a blazin' gun
Wes Hardin chug-a-luggin' red eye got him in the back of the head
John Wesley Hardin fell dead Hardin wouldn't run

© 1962 Southwind Music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:14 PM

I heard recently that Bob was writing that one, intending it to be a many-verse story song, but he lost interest part way through, and just decided to record it as it was. It does have many parallels with "Pretty Boy Floyd". I can't imagine for a minute that it's about Lyndon Johnson, but others have suggested it's about Bob himself, and that the "lady by his side" was Joan Baez, when they were both supporting civil rights workers down in Chaney Country. That sounds much more likely than LBJ to me. Dylan loves casting himself as the noble outlaw on the run from the powers that be, and like John Wesley Harding, Bob was very seldom known to make a foolish move, given the fact that he rocketed to success in an unprecedented fashion for a folk musician.

- LH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:19 PM

Up above, Amos linked to a page at http://www.famoustexans.com that gives a good biography of John Wesley Hardin. I think I'll post the entire text.
-Joe Offer-

JOHN WESLEY HARDIN, 1853-1895

Old West outlaw and gunslinger John Wesley Hardin was born May 26, 1853, in Bonham, Texas. Rumored to be so mean he once shot a man for snoring, Hardin was shot to death in El Paso on August 19, 1895, by a man he had hired to kill someone else.

John's father, James G. Hardin, was a Methodist preacher, lawyer, schoolteacher and circuit rider. His mother was Elizabeth Hardin. At age fourteen, John stabbed a schoolmate. At age fifteen, he shot a black man to death in Polk County. While fleeing from the law following that murder, he killed at least one, and possibly four Union soldiers who were attempting to apprehend him.

As a cowboy on the Chisolm Trail in 1871, Hardin killed seven people. He killed three more upon arriving in Abilene, Kansas. Back in Texas,following a run-in with the State Police back in Gonzales County, Hardin got married, settled down and had three children. But he soon resumed his murder spree, killing 4 more times before surrendering to the Cherokee County sheriff in September 1872. He broke out of jail after a couple of weeks, however.

Hardin next killed Jack Helm, a former State Police captain, who led the fight against the anti-Reconstructionist forces of Jim Taylor in the Sutton-Taylor Feud. Hardin had become a supporter of Taylor's from 1873 to 1874.

In May 1874, Hardin killed a deputy sheriff in Brown County while visiting the town of Comanche. Fleeing to Florida with his family, Hardin was captured by Texas Rangers in Pensacola on July 23, 1877. During that flight, he killed at least one, and perhaps as many as five more victims.

On September 28, 1878, Hardin was sentenced to twenty-five years for the Brown County deputy's murder. He was pardoned on March 16, 1894. Having studied law while in prison, Hardin was admitted to the Texas bar soon after his release.

In 1895, Hardin went to El Paso to testify for the defense in a murder trial. Following the trial, he stayed and established a law practice. Just when he seemed to finally be going straight, Hardin began an affair with one of his married female clients. Her husband found out about the affair and Hardin hired some law officials to kill him. One of the hired gunmen, however, Constable John Selman, shot Hardin instead.

Legend has it that his last words were, "Four sixes to beat, Henry." When killed, Hardin was shooting dice with local furniture dealer Henry Brown at the Acme saloon in El Paso. Thus ended the life and career of one of Texas deadliest gunslingers. Despite his killing of over thirty people, Hardin had a reputation as a gentleman among those who knew him, and he always claimed he never killed anyone who didn't need killing.

Bibliography: Wendy Brabner, ed., Texas Monthly Texas Characters Datebook 1985 (Austin, Texas: Texas Monthly Press, 1984). Ron Tyler, ed., The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 3 (Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, 1996) pp. 454-55.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: John Wesley Hardy
From: Inükshük
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:15 PM

Thank all of you. When all else fails, you can depend on Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 November 11:04 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.