The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


John Hardy [core]

John 4 Hardy was a 1 desperate little man
He 4 carried two guns every 1 day
He 4 killed a man in a 1 Shawnee camp
You 5 ought to seen John Hardy gettin' away, poor boy
You ought to seen John Hardy gettin' a 1 way

John Hardy was standing at the barroom door
Showing no interest in the game
Up stepped a woman with a dollar in her hand
Saying, Deal John Hardy in the game, poor boy
Deal John Hardy in the game

John Hardy took that yellow gal's money
And then he began to play
Sayin', The man that wins my yellow gal's dollar
I'll lay him in his lonesome grave, poor boy
I'll lay him in his lonesome grave

John Hardy drew a four card straight
And the cowboy drew two a pair
John failed to catch and the cowboy won
And he left him sitting dead in his chair, poor boy
He left him sitting dead in his chair

John Hardy made for the Coalsburg train
So dark he could hardly see
Up stepped the constable and took him by the arm
Saying, Johnny won't you come and go with me, poor boy
Johnny won't you come and go with me

I've been to the East and I've been to the West
I've been this wide world around
I've been to the river and I've been baptized
And now I'm on my hanging ground, poor boy
Now I'm on my hanging ground

They took him to the scaffold high
They hung him there to die
The last words that John Hardy said
Was, "My forty-four never lies," poor boy
"My forty-four never lies."

It’s on Strum Machine!

Play & sing along with John Hardy (or any song you type in) in any key, at any speed, with Strum Machine. You have to see it to believe it. :-)

Play this song on Strum Machine

Available in these books:

Get Started Plus:
Core Songs Edition
100 songs and our acclaimed play-by-ear learning method.
Big Print Songs
Over 200 songs.
Family Tradition
The reference manual, with lyrics to 330 songs.
The first two books feature large-print lyrics (20-point type) and include chords, historical info, jamming hints, and more.

...and on these CDs:

Five CDs, 100 songs. Recordings from the Abbott family and their friends.
Listen to sample tracks.

The MP3 collection has all 100 songs on one CD for a discount. See details.


A song from the The ToneWay Mountain Music Collection, which offers lyrics and free Song Clips (recordings for learning the song by ear) for nearly 400 traditional songs, many of which are often heard in bluegrass and old-time jam circles. The ToneWay Project also offers songbooks, CDs, and a free online video series for learning to play music by ear. http://ToneWay.com