18 Songs with the Name Henry in the Title

The name Henry has been around for a long time and is well-liked by many. It means “home ruler” and comes from the German name Heimirich. Henry is associated with strength and honor, and it has been used by numerous kings in both Germany and England. Even the Duke of Sussex, the energetic younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, goes by the formal name Henry. He’s known for his red hair and playful grin.

But Henry isn’t just for royalty – it’s also a name used by everyday people. Throughout history, poets, authors, and actors have embraced the name for its creative and expressive qualities.

Interestingly, there are songs that focus on or mention the name Henry. These songs use the name to convey emotions, tell stories, or connect with listeners on a personal level.

In this playlist, we’ve compiled a list of 18 songs about Henry.

18 Songs with the Name Henry in the Title

1. “Henry’s Made A Lady Out Of Lizzie” by Irving Kaufman

“Henry’s Made A Lady Out Of Lizzie” by Irving Kaufman is a cheerful tribute to the Ford Model T, also known as the Tin Lizzie, by Irving Kaufman. It highlights the improvements made by Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, to the iconic automobile. The lyrics playfully depict the car as a transformed lady with newfound elegance and features.

In the early 20th century, Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized the automobile industry by making cars affordable to the general public. The song mentions how the Model T, once a basic and rugged vehicle, has been upgraded to include luxuries such as four-wheel brakes, a rumble seat, and stylish details.

The lyrics also poke fun at other car models, suggesting that the Ford Model T is superior. The reference to “They shall not pass” in the song possibly alludes to a popular slogan associated with the French army during World War I.

Overall, “Henry’s Made A Lady Out Of Lizzie” captures the excitement and pride surrounding the advancements in automobile technology, specifically the Ford Model T, during that era.

2. “Love Henry” by Bob Dylan

“Love Henry” is a song by the legendary musician Bob Dylan, featured on his twenty-ninth studio album, “World Gone Wrong.” Released in 1993, the album primarily consists of traditional folk songs that Dylan rearranged and reinterpreted in his unique style. “Love Henry” is one such traditional ballad that Dylan chose to revive.

The song narrates a tragic tale of love, betrayal, and murder. In the lyrics, Love Henry is a man who is invited by a woman to stay with her, but he declines, professing his love for another girl in Cornersville. The rejection angers the woman, leading her to brutally murder Henry with a penny knife. The singer describes the homicide in the following lines:

“Get down, get down, Love Henry,” she cried,

“And stay all night with me.

I have gold chains, and the finest I have,

I’ll apply them all to thee.”

The chilling narrative unfolds with vivid imagery, describing how she disposes of Henry’s body in a well and foretells that no one will mourn his return.

3. “I’m Henry The VIII, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits

“I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits is a lively and humorous song that gained popularity in 1965. The song tells the tale of a man named Henry who marries the widow next door. Interestingly, this widow has a unique history, having been married seven times before, and all her previous husbands shared the same name—Henry.

The lyrics playfully highlight that the widow wasn’t interested in anyone named Willy or Sam; she had a preference for men named Henry. The singer proudly declares himself as her eighth husband, continuing the amusing story of Henry’s romantic adventures. He croons:

“I’m Henry the eighth, I am

Henry the eighth, I am, I am

I got married to the widow next door

She’s been married seven times before

And every one was an Henry (Henry)”

The repetition of the chorus and the spelling of Henry’s name (H-E-N-R-Y) contribute to the song’s memorable and fun nature.

4. “Henry Thomas” by The Lovin Spoonful

“Henry Thomas” is a cheerful and whimsical song by The Lovin’ Spoonful, a popular American rock band of the 1960s. Released in 1966 as part of their album “Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful,” the song features playful lyrics that tell the amusing tale of an unexpected guest named Henry.

The lyrics describe how Henry enters the scene, introduced by the singer’s cat, and highlight some of his peculiar characteristics. The refrain, “Ooh-wee my dear Henry, Dig the dog the cat dragged in,” captures the surprise and delight of the singer upon encountering this unique canine visitor.

5. “Henry” by Henry Ate

“Henry” by Henry Ate is a song that tells the whimsical tale of a character named Henry. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of Henry’s peculiar habits and unique personality.

The song captures the essence of Henry’s quirks, presenting him as someone who sits in the corner on bad days until late, converses with walls on Sundays, and has a smile like no other.

In the following lines, the singer describes Henry’s distinctive character, emphasizing his idiosyncrasies and the enigmatic aura that surrounds him.

“Henry sits in the corner on bad days ’til quite late

So anything you can’t find you left there, ask Henry what he ate today

Never before have I seen a smile upon a face like Henry’s

Such a special boy, you can fall in love but he’ll walk away”

The recurring theme of Henry eating his way to the moon adds a touch of fantasy to the narrative, making the song a charming exploration of an intriguing person named Henry.

6. “Henry Lee” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

“Henry Lee” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is a haunting ballad that tells a tale of love, betrayal, and a grim fate. The song features a captivating duet between Nick Cave and the talented British singer PJ Harvey. It’s a traditional folk song that has been reimagined by various artists over the years, with Nick Cave’s version standing out for its dark and atmospheric interpretation.

In the song, the narrator invites a man named Henry Lee to spend the night, claiming unmatched allure. She croons:

“Get down, get down, little Henry Lee

And stay all night with me

You won’t find a girl in this damn world

That will compare with me”

However, Henry Lee has his heart set on a girl in a distant land. The lyrics vividly describe a scene where the girl, seeking affection, ends up using a pen-knife to harm Henry Lee. The narrator sings: 

“Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee

‘Til the flesh drops from your bones

For the girl you have in that merry green land

Can wait forever for you to come home”

The wind is a recurring motif, howling and moaning, adding to the song’s mysterious and eerie ambiance. The combination of Nick Cave’s deep, resonant vocals and PJ Harvey’s hauntingly beautiful voice creates a powerful and memorable rendition of this traditional ballad.

7. “Oh Henry” by The Civil Wars

“Oh Henry” by The Civil Wars is a soulful and poignant song that delves into themes of love, trust, and the consequences of straying from commitment. The lyrics narrate the singer’s concerns and suspicions about a man named Henry, who seems to be leading a wandering and unfaithful existence.

In the song, the singer questions Henry’s actions, referencing a wedding band worn by Henry, symbolizing a commitment that may be in jeopardy. The repeated inquiry, “Oh Henry, have you got something to tell me?” reflects the uncertainty and unease in the relationship.

The mention of a “forbidden road” and a “six-foot hole” adds a somber tone, suggesting that the consequences of Henry’s actions could lead to the demise of the relationship. The lyrics emphasize the gravity of promises made during the wedding, underscoring the importance of fidelity and honesty.

As the singer contemplates the situation, the refrain echoes the sentiment that the town doesn’t need “one more grave,” emphasizing the potential harm that could come from betrayal.

8. “The Day John Henry Died” by Drive-By Truckers

“The Day John Henry Died” by Drive-By Truckers is a song that delves into the legendary tale of John Henry, a steel-driving man whose story reflects the clash between human labor and the encroachment of technology during the industrial era. The lyrics vividly paint a picture of a changing world and the impact it had on the titular character, John Henry.

The song begins with a scene of rain and people disappearing, setting a contemplative mood. It describes the letters passing through wires, filtered by lies, and the day John Henry died, marked by the scent of burning tires. The lyrics portray a sense of nostalgia and loss as they narrate the demise of a bygone era.

One part of the song reflects on John Henry’s early life:

“When John Henry was a little bitty baby nobody ever taught him how to read

But he knew the perfect way to hold a hammer was the way the railroad baron held the deed.

It didn’t matter if he won, if he lived, or if he’d run.”

The narrative continues to describe John Henry’s valiant fight against the machine. As he battles against the odds, his hands and feet turn snowy white. The singer croons:

“We heard he put up quite a fight.

His hands and feet turned snowy white.

That hammer rang out through the night the day John Henry died.”

Despite his efforts, his work is no longer needed due to rising labor costs and the efficiency of the new machine. This symbolizes the end of an era and the triumph of industrialization over traditional labor.

9. “The Ballad of John Henry” by Joe Bonamassa

“The Ballad of John Henry” by Joe Bonamassa is a blues-rock song that pays homage to the legendary figure of John Henry, a symbol of strength and determination. The song reflects on the classic tale of John Henry’s battle against a steam-powered hammer, a story deeply rooted in American folklore.

In the lyrics, Joe Bonamassa explores the mystery surrounding John Henry’s demise in the context of a broader battle between sinners and saints. The singer questions who killed John Henry and expresses a desire to take the hammer that ended his life. He croons:

“Who killed John Henry

In the battle of sinners and saints

Take this hammer, carry it to the Captain

Tell him why I’m gone”

These lines capture the essence of the song, as the singer contemplates the circumstances of John Henry’s death and the ongoing struggle between opposing forces.

The reference to the hammer and the Captain adds a layer of intrigue to the narrative, making it a compelling exploration of a legendary folk tale through the lens of blues-rock.

10. “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

“Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds is a haunting and intense song that delves into the struggles and challenges of life. Released on the album “Henry’s Dream” in 1992, the track showcases Nick Cave’s distinctive storytelling and dark, poetic lyrics.

The song revolves around a character named Henry who faces a series of hardships and grim circumstances. The lyrics vividly depict the narrator’s experiences, including encounters with death, the memories of a friend named Michel, and the emotional toll of a difficult road.

The recurring refrain, “Papa won’t leave you, Henry,” suggests a paternal or comforting figure providing solace and support in the midst of adversity. The singer croons:

“Saying Papa won’t leave you, Henry

Papa won’t leave you, Boy

Papa won’t leave you, Henry

Papa won’t leave you, Boy”

These lines emphasize the reassurance and protection that the narrator believes Henry will receive, even in the face of a challenging and tumultuous life.

11. “John Henry” by Leadbelly

“John Henry” is a classic folk song that tells the legendary tale of a steel-driving man, possibly based on a real-life African American folk hero. The song celebrates John Henry’s incredible strength and determination as he competes against a steam-powered drill to prove that human labor can outmatch machines.

One verse goes like this:

“John Henry had a little woman,

Her name was Mary Magdalene,

She would go to the tunnel and sing for John,

Just to hear John Henry’s hammer ring, Oh Lord,

Just to hear John Henry’s hammer ring.”

This verse speaks to John Henry’s personal life, mentioning his relationship with Mary Magdalene, who supports him by singing as he works, finding joy in the sound of his hammer striking the steel. The song captures both the physical prowess and the human side of this legendary figure.

12. “Theo And Weird Henry” by John Mellencamp

“Theo And Weird Henry” is a song by John Mellencamp that tells the tale of two friends, Theo and Weird Henry, as they navigate the ups and downs of life in a small town. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of their friendship, capturing moments of youthful exuberance, camaraderie, and the passage of time.

The song begins by introducing Henry and Theo, who both worked at a place like Sears and shared a 1972 Ford van. The duo would cruise around town all night, blaring music at full volume. The singer croons:

“Henry worked at Sears or somewhere

Theo did, too

They both got themselves a van together

1972 Ford

Drove it around all night long playing music very, very loud

Big noise, all the time

Little legends in a little town”

Described as “little legends in a little town,” their friendship was marked by shared experiences and a carefree attitude. The song conveys a sense of nostalgia and fondness for the adventures and misadventures Theo and Weird Henry shared.

The mention of Weird Henry’s smile and the postcard he sent from a “better place” adds a touch of bittersweet reflection to the song, emphasizing the enduring impact of their friendship even as life takes them in different directions.

13. “Legend Of John Henry’s Hammer” by Johnny Cash

“Legend Of John Henry’s Hammer” is a classic folk song performed by the legendary Johnny Cash. The song delves into the tale of John Henry, a legendary figure in American folklore, known for his incredible strength and his competition against a steam drill during the construction of the railroad.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of John Henry’s life, from his upbringing to his prowess as a steel driver. In the face of technological advancements threatening traditional manual labor, John Henry takes on a steam drill in a contest to prove the superiority of human strength. The singer croons:

John Henry said to his captain, a man ain’t nothin but a man, but if you bring that

Steam drill round, i’ll beat it fair and honest, i’ll die with my hammer in my hand

But I’ll be laughing, cuz you can’t replace a steel driven man

Despite his efforts, the story ends tragically, with John Henry’s death, and the mourners at the church house pay tribute to him as a skilled and hardworking steel driver.

This song captures the struggle of men against the encroachment of technology on manual labor and the sacrifices made in the process.

14. “More About John Henry” by Tom T. Hall

“More About John Henry” by Tom T. Hall recounts the legend of John Henry, a strong black man whose life was entwined with love and labor.

In the story, Hall talks about John Henry dealing with love troubles, like with Julie Anne and Poor Selma, and facing off against Stacker Lee, which leads to Lee’s demise.

Throughout the song, Hall illustrates Henry’s devotion and the consequences of his choices: “He loved that stinger of Julie Anne,” portraying his affection for Julie Anne; “Quit working when your day’s work is through,” a cautionary line advising against overwork.

Ultimately, the song explores the impact of relentless toil and tumultuous relationships on John Henry’s life. It invites us to ponder the cost of unending labor and the complexities of human connections.

15. “Ballad of Henry Darger” by Natalie Merchant

 

“Ballad of Henry Darger” is a song by Natalie Merchant paying tribute to the life and work of the enigmatic artist and writer Henry Darger. Darger was a reclusive custodian who, after his death in 1973, gained posthumous fame for his elaborate and intricate artwork and writings.

The song captures the essence of Darger’s imaginative world and his dedication to protecting a fictional girl named Angelinia. It speaks of Darger’s heroic portrayal in the following lines:

“Who’ll save the poor little girl?

Henry Darger, Henry Darger

Who’ll tell the story of her?

Henry Darger, Henry Darger”

These lines reflect the central theme of Darger’s commitment to safeguarding the innocence and telling the story of a vulnerable girl through his art and writings. 

16. “Please, Mrs. Henry” by The Band

“Please, Mrs. Henry” is a lively and humorous song by The Band, featured on their 1968 album “The Basement Tapes.” The song is known for its playful and somewhat eccentric lyrics. In the song, the narrator appears to be in a state of inebriation, having had a couple of beers and engaging in various antics. The central plea is directed towards Mrs. Henry, asking her to take the narrator to his room:

“Well, I’ve already had two beers

I’m ready for the broom

Please, Missus Henry, won’t you

Take me to my room?”

The repeated plea to “Missus Henry” gives the song its title and adds a touch of whimsy to the narrative. The lyrics also include amusing lines about the narrator’s ability to drink, crawl, bite, and slam, creating a sense of lightheartedness amidst the somewhat desperate tone.

17. “King Henry” by Steeleye Span

“King Henry” by Steeleye Span is a traditional English folk ballad that tells the eerie and supernatural story of King Henry encountering a ghost in a haunted hall. Steeleye Span, a British folk rock band, popularized the song with their rendition.

The lyrics portray King Henry’s unsettling encounter with a ghostly figure who demands various offerings from him, including the flesh of his horse, greyhounds, and goshawks.

The ballad captures the mysterious atmosphere of the haunted hall, with howling winds, an earthquake, and darkness enveloping the scene. Despite King Henry’s initial reluctance, he reluctantly fulfills the ghost’s requests.

The song paints a vivid picture of the spectral encounter and the eerie events that unfold, blending elements of the supernatural with the traditional folk storytelling. The singer croons:

“Let never a man a wooing wend

That lacketh thinges three

A store of gold, an oaken heart

And full of charity

And this was seen of King Henry

And he likewise alone…”

The lyrics go on to describe King Henry’s encounters with the ghost and the various demands made by the supernatural entity, creating a haunting narrative that has captivated audiences through the folk tradition.

18. “Save the Bones for Henry Jones” by Nat King Cole

“Save the Bones for Henry Jones” by Nat King Cole is a fun and catchy song. It’s about having a special supper and making sure to save the bones for Henry Jones because he doesn’t eat meat.

The lyrics talk about preparing a meal with fish and sweet molasses for Henry, who is described as not being a drinker and enjoying vegetarian dishes.

There’s a humorous touch to the song as it describes a banquet where Henry sticks to his preference for bones instead of meat dishes like short ribs and steak.

The song ends with the line “He’s an egg man, Henry don’t eat no meat,” emphasizing Henry’s vegetarian lifestyle.

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