We Shall Overcome:
The Seeger Sessions

A loose, exuberant throwdown of folk songs and traditionals popularized by Pete that can only be explained with commas: rock, folk, Dixieland, ragtime, gospel, French Quarter, honky-tonk, blues — in a word, American music. “Not music being written,” Springsteen writes, “but music being made.”

Released: April 25, 2006
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau
1 Old Dan Tucker
Lyrics
Old Dan Tucker, he's a fine old man,
Washed his face in a frying pan
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
Died with a toothache in his heel

Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper.
Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper

Old Dan Tucker, he'd come to town
Riding a billy goat, leading a hound
Hound dog barked, billy goat jumped
Landed Dan Tucker on a stump!

Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper.
Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper

Now old Dan Tucker has come to town
Swinging the ladies round and round
First to the right and then to the left
Then to the girl that he loves best

Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper.
Get out of the way! Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Film Live in Dublin Film
2 Jesse James
Lyrics
Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man,
He robbed the Danville train,
He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He'd a hand and a heart and a brain.

[chorus:]
Poor Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
Three children, they were brave;
But the dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard
Has laid Jesse James in his grave.
It was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward,
I wonder how he does feel,
For he ate of Jesse's bread and he slept in Jesse's bed,
Then he laid poor Jesse in his grave.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He'd never see a man suffer pain,;
And with his brother Frank, he robbed the Chicago bank,
And stopped the Glendale train.

It was on a Wednesday night and the moon was shining bright,
They robbed the Glendale train,
And the people they did say for many miles away,
It was robbed by Frank and Jesse James.

It was his brother Frank that robbed the Gallatin bank,
And carried the money from the town;
lt was in this very place that they had a little race,
For they shot Captain Sheets to the ground.

They went to the crossing not very far from there,
And there they did the same;
With the agent on his knees, he delivered up the keys
To the outlaws, Frank and Jesse James.

It was on Saturday night and Jesse was at home
Talking with his family brave,
Robert Ford came along like a thief in the night
And laid poor Jesse in his grave.

The people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
And wondered how he ever came to die.
It was one of the gang called little Robert Ford,
He shot poor Jesse on the sly.

Jesse went to rest with his hand on his breast,
The devil will be upon his knee.
He was born one day in the county of Clay,
And he came from a solitary race.

This song was made by Billy Gashade
As soon as the news did arrive;
He said there was no man with the law in his hand
Who could take Jesse James when alive.
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
3 Mrs. McGrath
Lyrics
"Mrs. McGrath," the sergeant said,
"Would you like to make a soldier
Out of your son, Ted?
With a scarlet cloak and a fine cocked hat,
Mrs. McGrath wouldn't you like that?"

Mrs. McGrath lived on the seashore
For the space of seven long years or more
'Till she saw big ship sailing in the bay
"Hallelu, babbelu, I think it's he!"

"Oh, Captain dear, where have you been.
Have you been out sailin' on the Mediteren'.
Have you any tidings of my son Ted.
Is the poor boy livin' or is he dead?"

Now up comes Ted without any legs
And in their place there were two wooden pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
Saying "Holy moly could it be you?"

"Now was you drunk or was you blind
When you left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it out walking upon the sea
That tore your legs from the knees away?"

"No I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind.
For a cannon ball on the fifth of May
Took my two fine legs from the knees away."

"Now Teddy me boy," the old widow cried
"Your two fine legs was your mama's pride
Them stumps of a tree won't do at all
Why didn't you run from the big cannon ball?"

"Now against all war, I do profrain
Between Don Juan and the King of Spain
And, by herrons, I'll make 'em rue the time
When they swept the legs from a child of mine."
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
4 O Mary Don't You Weep
Lyrics
Oh, Mary, don't you weep
Tell Martha not to moan
Pharaoh's army drowned in the Red Sea
Oh, Mary, don't you weep
Tell Martha not to moan
If I could I surely would
Stand on the rock where Moses stood
Pharaoh's army drowned in the Red Sea
Oh, Mary, don't you weep
Tell Martha not to moan

You know Jesus... He's my Friend
He picks me up when I fall down again
Every day I get on my knees and pray
That the Lord's hand will come and show the way
And I just thank Him each day that I live
I give Him all that I have to give ... every day!

Jesus, He told Mary, "Don't you weep no more
Just believe in a miracle
Every day there's a miracle in your life
You've just got to look for it
Have faith in your heart, in your soul, every day".
Jesus told Mary, "Don't you no more
'Cause I'm coming back again... yes I am!"

Now Mary had a brother named Lazarus
One day when Jesus was praying to the masses
Lazarus passed away.
Mary she lost faith
She got sick at the heart
She didn't believe
Jesus came back
He told Mary, "Don't you weep... 'cause I can fix it!"

He said Lazarus, "Rise up and walk with te livig"
And lazarus rose up ... O what a miracle
Jesus told Mary, "You don't have to weep
No you don't have to moan!"

Oh, Mary, don't you weep
Tell Martha not to moan
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
5 John Henry
Lyrics
One, two, three
Well, John Henry was a little baby
Sittin' on his dady's knee
He pick up a hammer and a little piece of steel,
And, "God, hammer's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord
Hammer's gonna be the death of me"

Now the captain he said to John Henry,
"I'm gonna bring that steam drill 'round
I'm gonna bring that steam drill out on these tracks
I'm gonna knock that steel on down, God, God
Gonna knock that steel on down"

John Henry told his captain,
"Lord, man ain't nothin' but a man
Before I let that steam drill beat me down
I'm gonna die with a hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord
Die with a hammer in my hand"
Violin Soozie!

John Henry driving on the right side
That steam drill driving on the left
Says, "Before I'll let your steam drill beat me down
I'm gonna hammer myself to death, Lord, Lord
I'll hammer my fool self to death"

Well, captain said to John Henry,
"What is that stone out here?"
John Henry said, "That ain't no stone
Captain, that's just my hammer in here, Lord, Lord
That's just my hammer in here"

John Henry said to his shaker
"Shaker, why don't you sing?
'Cause I'm swigin' thirty pounds from my hips on down
Yeah, listen to my cold steel ring, Lord, Lord
Listen to my cold steel ring"
Come on ???!

I wanna hear that banjo too!

???
Now John Henry, he hammered in the mountains
His hammer was striking fire
But he worked so hard, he broke his heart
John Henry laid his hammer and died, Lord, Lord
John Henry laid down his hammer and died

Well, now John Henry, he had him a woman
Her name was Polly Ann
She walked down to those tracks, picked up John Henry's hammer
Polly drove steel like a man, Lord, Lord
Polly drove that steel like a man
Hey!

Well every, every Monday morning
When the bluebird he begin to sing
You can hear John Henry from a mile or more
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring
??? again!
So you can hear John Henry's hammer ring, Lord, Lord
You can hear John Henry's hammer ring
Come on! Woah!

One, two, a one two three four!
6 Erie Canal
Lyrics
We were forty miles from Albany
Forget it I never shall.
What a terrible storm we had one night
On the E-ri-e - Canal.

[chorus:]
O the E-ri-e was a-rising
And the gin was a-getting low.
And I scarcely think we'll get a drink
Till we get to Buff-a-lo-o-o
Till we get to Buffalo.

We were loaded down with barley
We were chock-full up on rye.
The captain he looked down at me
With his gol-durned wicked eye.

Two days out from Syracuse
The vessel struck a shoal;
We like to all be foundered
On a chunk o' Lackawanna coal.

We hollered to the captain
On the towpath, treadin' dirt
He jumped on board and stopped the leak
With his old red flannel shirt.

The cook she was a grand old gal
Stood six foot in her socks.
Had a foot just like an elephant
And her breath would open locks.

The wind begins to whistle
The waves begin to roll
We had to reef our royals
On that ragin' canal.

The cook came to our rescue
She had a ragged dress;
We h'isted her upon the pole
As a signal of distress.

When we got to Syracuse
Off-mule, he was dead;
The nigh mule got blind staggers
We cracked him on the head.

The cook is in the Police Gazette
The captain went to jail;
And I'm the only son-of-a-sea-cook
That's left to tell the tale.
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
7 Jacob's Ladder
Lyrics
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Brothers, sisters, all

Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Brothers, sisters, all

We are dancing Sarah's circle
We are dancing Sarah's circle
We are dancing Sarah's circle
Sisters, brothers, all

Every round a generation
Every round a generation
Every round a generation
Sisters, brothers, all

We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Brothers, sisters, all
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
8 My Oklahoma Home
Lyrics
When they opened up the strip I was young and full of zip,
I wanted a place to call my own.
And so I made the race, and staked me out a place,
And settled down along the Cimarron.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
My Oklahoma home, it blowed away.
It looked so green and fair when I built my shanty there,
But my Oklahoma home, it blowed away.

I planted wheat and oats, got some chickens and some shoats,
Aimed to have some ham and eggs to feed my face.
Got a mule to pull the plow, got an old red muley cow
And got a fancy mortgage on the place.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
All the crops I planted blowed away.
You can't grow any grain if there isn't any rain;
All except the mortgage blowed away.

It blowed away my rooster and it blowed away my hens;
The pigs and cattle went astray.
All the crops that I sowed went a-foggin' down the road.
My Oklahoma farm, it blowed away.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
Everything I owned blowed away.
I hollered and I cussed when my land went up in dust,
When my Oklahoma farm, it blowed away.

It looked so green and fair, when I built my shanty there,
I figured I was all set for life.
I put on my Sunday best with my fancy scalloped vest
And went to town and picked me out a wife.

She blowed away, she blowed away
My Oklahoma woman blowed away.
Just as I bent and kissed her, she was picked up by a twister;
My Oklahoma woman blowed away.

Then I was left alone a-listenin' to the moan
Of the wind around the corners of my shack;
So I took off down the road when the south wind blowed,
A-travelin' with the wind at my back.

I blowed away, I blowed away
Chasin' a dust cloud up ahead.
Once it looked so green and fair, now it's up there in the air;
My Oklahoma farm is overhead.

Now I'm always close to home no matter where I roam,
For Oklahoma dust is everywhere.
Makes no difference where I'm walkin', I can hear my chickens squawkin'
I can hear my wife a-talkin' in the air.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
My Oklahoma home blowed away.
But my home is always near; it's in the atmosphere,
My Oklahoma home that blowed away.

I'm a roamin' Oklahoman, but I'm always close to home
And I'll never get homesick 'til I die.
No matter where I'm found, my home is all around;
My Oklahoma home is in the sky.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
My farm down upon the Cimarron.
But all around the world, wherever dust is whirled,
Some is from my Oklahoma home.

It blowed away, it blowed away,
My Oklahoma home blowed away.
Oh it's up there in the sky in that dust cloud rolling by,
My Oklahoma home is in the sky.
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
9 Eyes on the Prize
Lyrics
Paul and Silas, bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail

Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

The very moment we thought we was lost,
Dungeon shook and the chains fell off,

Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

Only thing that we did wrong
Was stayin' in the wilderness so long,

Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!

Only thing that we did right
Was the day we begun to fight!

Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on!
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
10 Shenandoah
Lyrics
Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Way-aye, you rolling river
I'll take her 'cross yon rolling water
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

The Chief disdained the trader's dollars,
Way-aye, you rolling river
My daughter you shall never follow
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

For seven years I courted Sally,
Way-aye, you rolling river
For seven more I longed to have her
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

She said she would not be my lover
Way-aye, you rolling river
Because I was a tarry sailor
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

At last there came a Yankee skipper
Way-aye, you rolling river
He winked his eye, and he tipped his flipper
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

He sold the Chief that fire-water
Way-aye, you rolling river
And 'cross the river he stole his daughter
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Way-aye, you rolling river
I'll take her 'cross yon rolling water
A way - we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri!
11 Pay Me My Money Down
Lyrics
Pay me, you owe me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

I thought I heard the captain say
Pay me my money down
Tomorrow is our sailing day
Pay me my money down

Pay me, you owe me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

Late last night we went into a bar
Pay me money down
They knocked us down with the end of a spar
Pay me my money down

Pay me, you owe me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

I wish I was Mr. Howard's son
Pay me my money down
Sit in the house and watch the work getting down
Pay me my money down

Pay me, you owe me
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
12 We Shall Overcome
Lyrics
One, two, three, four

Hey we shall overcome, we shall overcome
We shall overcome someday
Darlin' here in my heart, yeah I do believe
We shall overcome someday

Well we'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand someday
Darlin' here in my heart, yeah I do believe
We'll walk hand in hand someday

Well we shall live in peace, we shall live in peace
We shall live in peace someday
Darlin' here in my heart, yeah I do believe
We shall live in peace someday

Well we are not afraid, we are not afraid
We shall overcome someday
Yeah here in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome someday

Hey we shall overcome, we shall overcome
We shall overcome someday
Darlin' here in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome someday
We shall overcome someday
13 Froggie Went A-Courtin'
Lyrics
Froggy went a-courtin' and he did ride, uh-huh (uh-huh)
Froggy went a -courtin' and he did ride
Sword and pistol by his side, uh- huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

Well, he went down to Miss Mousie's door, uh-huh (uh-huh)
He went down to Miss Mousie's door
Where he had often been before, uh huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

And he took Miss Mousie on his knee, uh-huh (uh-huh)
He took Miss Mousie on his knee, and he said,
"Miss Mousie, will you marry me?" uh huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

"Not without my Uncle Rat's consent uh-huh (uh-huh)
Not without my Uncle Rat's consent
I would not marry the President, uh huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

Where will the wedding supper be? Uh-huh (uh-huh)
Where will the wedding supper be?
Way down yonder in a hollow tree, uh huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

First to come were the two little ants, uh-huh, uh-huh
Fixin' around to have a dance, uh-huh, uh-huh
Next to come was a bumblebee
Bouncing a fiddle on his knee, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh
14 Buffalo Gals
Lyrics
As I was walking down the street
Down the street, down the street
A pretty girl I chanced to meet
And we danced by the light of the moon

Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
Come out tonight come out tonight
Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
And we'll dance by the light of the moon

I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
And he knees was a-knockin' and her shoes was a'rockin'
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
And we danced by the light of the moon

Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
Come out tonight come out tonight
Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
And we'll dance by the light of the moon

I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
And her knees was a-knockin' and her shoes was a-rockin'
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
And we danced by the light of the moon

Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
Come out tonight come out tonight
Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
And we'll dance by the light of the moon
15 How Can I Keep From Singing?
Lyrics
My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, though far off hymn
That hails the new creation
Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?
16 How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
Lyrics
Well the doctor comes 'round here with his face all bright
And he says "in a little while you'll be alright"
All he gives is a humbug pill, a dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

"Me and my old school pals had some mighty high times down here
And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain't fair"
He took a look around, gave a little pep talk, said "I'm with you" then he took a little walk
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to Hell
Martha, get me my sixteen gauge and some dry shells
Them who's got got out of town and them who ain't got left to drown
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live

Go ahead!

Got family scattered from Texas all the way to Baltimore
Yeah and I ain't got no home in this world no more
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact, a righteous train rollin' down this track
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Also Appears On
Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film
17 Bring 'Em Home
Lyrics
If you love this land of the free
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring them back from overseas
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

It will make the politicians sad, I know
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
They wanna tangle with their foe
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

They wanna test their grand theories
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
With the blood of you and me
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

Now we'll give no more brave young lives
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
For the gleam in someone's eyes
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

(Hooo-hooo hooo-hooo)
(Hooo-hooo hooo-hooo)

The men will cheer and the boys will shout
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Yeah and we will all turn out
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

The church bells will ring with joy
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
To welcome our darlin' girls and boys
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

We willl lift their voice and sound
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Yeah, when Johnny comes marching home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring them back from overseas
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

If you love this land of the free
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring them back from overseas
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home

Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
Bring 'em home, bring 'em home
18 American Land