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Some scholars have suggested that the "John Henry" ballad grew out of the hammer songs, while others believe that the two were always entirely separate.
Songs featuring the story of John Henry have been recorded by many blues, folk, and rock musicians of different ethnic backgrounds.
Disney has utilized the legend in several shorts, including in 1995, John Henry appeared in the Disney film Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill portrayed by Roger Aaron Brown.
He also appeared in a Walt Disney Feature Animation produced animated short version of John Henry in 1999, directed by Mark Henn.
Henry is the subject of the 1931 Roark Bradford novel John Henry, illustrated by noted woodcut artist J. Ezra Jack Keats's John Henry: An American Legend, published in 1965, is a notable picture book chronicling the history of John Henry and portraying him as the "personification of the medieval Everyman who struggles against insurmountable odds and wins." Colson Whitehead's 2001 novel John Henry Days uses the John Henry myth as story background.
workers managed their labor by setting a "stint," or pace, for it. Here was a song that told you what happened to men who worked too fast: they died ugly deaths; their entrails fell on the ground.John Henry was featured as a fictional character in the 2014 video game Wasteland 2.The story is referenced by various NPCs throughout the game and is also available in full as a series of in game books which tell the story of the competition between John Henry and a contingent of robotic workers.There is another tradition that John Henry's famous race took place not in West Virginia, but rather near Leeds, Alabama. Railway's Cruzee or Curzey Mountain Tunnel in 1882, and a third letter saying it was at Oak Mountain in 1887, but he discounted these reports after the A. John Henry is a symbol of physical strength and endurance, of exploited labor, of the dignity of a human being against the degradations of the machine age, and of racial pride and solidarity. The story of John Henry is traditionally told through two types of songs: ballads, commonly called "The Ballad of John Henry", and "hammer songs" (a type of work song), each with wide-ranging and varying lyrics.Professor Johnson in the late 1920s received letters saying that John Henry worked on the A. Ballads about John Henry's life typically contain four major components: a premonition by John Henry as a child that steel-driving would lead to his death, the lead-up to and the results of the legendary race against the steam hammer, Henry's death and burial, and the reaction of his wife.
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Prison records for John William Henry stopped in 1873, suggesting that he was kept on the record books until it was clear that he was not coming back and had died. Retired chemistry professor and folklorist John Garst, of the University of Georgia, has argued that the contest happened at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern Railway) near Leeds on September 20, 1887. Dabney, the father of the chief engineer of that railroad, in 1850.