American Folk Heroes John Henry
Storybook Robin Hood and his Merry Men
Paul Bunyan • North America was a great big landWith a great, big job to be doneA job that needed a great, big manPaul Bunyan was the one.Hey, PaulPaul BunyanHe's sixty three axe handles highWith his feet on the ground and his head in the skyHey, PaulPaul Bunyan • Well he picked up his axe and he chopped a treeClean down with a forward swingGot him another when the axe swung backThat timber cuttin' thingHe kept on choppin' the live-long dayAnd then when it was nightHe walked back over the stumps he'd cutAnd stomped them out of sight.Hey, Paul (Why, it's nothing!)Paul Bunyan
John Henry • When John Henry was a little baby boy, • sitting on the his papa's knee • Well he picked up a hammer and little piece of steel • Said Hammer's gonna be the death of me, • Lord, lord, Hammer's gonna be the death of mine • The captain said to John Henry • I'm gonna bring that steam drill around • I'm gonna bring that steam drill out on the job • I'm gonna whup that steel on down • John Henry told his captain • Lord, a man ain't nothing but a man • But before I'd let your steam drill beat me down • I'd die with a hammer in my hand • John Henry drove fifteen feet • The steam drill only made nine • John Henry hammered in the mountains • His hammer was striking fire • But he worked so hard, it broke his poor heart • And he laid down his hammer and he died. • John Henry was a steel driving man, • Lord, Lord. John Henry was a steel driving man.
Pecos Bill • Oh! Pecos Bill was quite a cowboy down in Texas, • And a Western superman, to say the least. • He was the roughest, toughest critter, never known to be a quitter • 'Cuz he never had no fear of man or beast. • So, yip-pee-i-ay i-ay, yip-pee-i-oh • He was the roughest toughest critter west of the Alamo. • Once there was a drought that spread all over Texas • So to sunny Californy he did go, • And tho' the gag is kind of corny, he brought rain from Californy • That's the way we got the Gulf of Mexico. • Pecos lost his way while travelin' on the desert • It was ninety miles across the burnin' sand, • He knew he'd never reach the border • If he didn't get some water • So he got a stick and dug the Rio Grande. • While a tribe of painted Injuns did a war dance • Pecos started shootin' up their little game, • He gave them redskins such a shakeup, • That they jumped out of their makeup • That's the way the painted desert got its name.
By Ernest Thayer The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game. A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The restClung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat. But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat. But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third. Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat. There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat. Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip. And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said. Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip. And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said. From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore."Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand. With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two." "Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again. The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow. Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.
Characters • Peter Pan • Winnie the Pooh • Mickey Mouse • Bert and Ernie • Spiderman
Casey Jones • Come all ye rounders, if you wanna hearA story about a brave engineerCasey Jones was the rounder's nameOn a big eight wheeler, he won his fame • Chorus:Casey Jones, mounted to the cabinCasey Jones, with his orders in his handCasey Jones, mounted to the cabinAs he took his final journey to the promise land • Rain was comin' down for five or six weeksTrack looked like the bed of a creekIt rated him down to a 30-mile gaitMade the southbound mail about eight hours late • Fireman says, "Casey, you're runnin' too fast'"You run the block board last station you passed"Casey says, "Yes, but I think we'll make it through""'Cause this engine is a steamin' better than I ever knew" • (Chorus) • Around the curb he spied a passenger trainHeadlights shinin' in his eyes through the rainCasey blew his whistle, a mighty blastBut the other locomotive was comin' fast • Casey says "Fireman you'd better jump""There's two locomotives and their gonna bump"The fireman hollered, "It's just ahead!""We might jump and make it, but we'll all be dead."
Westerners • Sam Hill • Jim Bowie • Daniel Boone • Kit Carson • Buffalo Bill Cody • Wild Bill Hickok • Wyatt Earp
Davy Crockett • 1786-1836 Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, Greenest state in the land of the free. Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree, Killed him a bear when he was only three. Davy, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier. Fought single handed through the Injun war, Till the Creeks was whipped and peace was restored. And while he was handling this risky chore, Made himself a legend, forevermore. He went of to Congress and served a spell Fixin' up the government and laws as well. Took over Washington, I heard tell, And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell. When he come home, his politickin' was done, While the western march had just begun. So he packed his gear, and his trusty gun And let out a grinnin' to follow the sun.
John Chapman • Johnny Appleseed 1774-1845
Western Outlaws • Billy the Kid • John Wesley Hardin • Sam Bass • Johnny Ringo • Curly Bill Billy the Kid, John Wesley Hardin (top), Curly Bill (below)
Jesse James • 1847 -1882 Led outlaw gang Shot in the back “Robin Hood”
Sports • George Herman “Babe” Ruth • Joe DiMaggio • Jackie Robinson • Mickey Mantle • Joe Namath • Michael Jordan • Tiger Woods
Cultural • Louis Armstrong • Frank Sinatra • Marilyn Monroe • Clark Gable • Howard Hughes
Annie Oakley Rip Van Winkle Superman Mae West