Big John, big bad John

I’m sure you have, as have I, a song stuck in your brain that just stays there for days on end. Well, that’s he way it’s been for me with this song.  It was released in 1961 (I was only 9 years old), but it is one of those country tunes you can’t get rid of.  You can find a video here: it would be much more enjoyable than just reading these lyrics:

Every mornin’ at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn’t give no lip to big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Nobody seemed to know where John called home
He just drifted into town and stayed all alone
He didn’t say much, kinda quiet and shy
And if you spoke at all, you just said hi to Big John

Somebody said he came from New Orleans
Where he got in a fight over a Cajun Queen
And a crashin’ blow from a huge right hand
Sent a Louisiana fellow to the promised land, big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Then came the day at the bottom of the mine
When a timber cracked and men started cryin’
Miners were prayin’ and hearts beat fast
And everybody thought that they’d breathed their last, ‘cept John

Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin’ timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

And with all of his strength he gave a mighty shove
Then a miner yelled out “there’s a light up above!”
And twenty men scrambled from a would-be grave
Now there’s only one left down there to save, big John

With jacks and timbers they started back down
Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And then smoke and gas belched out of that mine
Everybody knew it was the end of the line for big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Now, they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marble stand in front of it
These few words are written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man
Big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)
(Big John) big bad John

Writer/s: Jimmy Dean
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

So, big John was the hero of that town that day.  He gave his life so that others could live. It kinda reminds me what Christ did for us.  Christ hung on a cross and died to pay the eternal price for our shortcomings.  He didn’t have to, he chose to.  Just like big John.  Jesus and big John both knew they would die.  Big John saved men’s earthly lives.  Jesus saves us for eternity.  Big John saved 20 men.  Jesus saved all of mankind. One more critical difference:  Big John’s body remains at the bottom of that mine with a sign posted there to honor his life.  Jesus stayed only three days in his tomb.  You can search the whole world over, but you will never find a grave marker honoring “Jesus Christ, savior of the world”.  But that’s another story!!!

Lord Jesus,

For those of us who believe in you, we thank you for your death on the cross.  For those who don’t believe, please draw them to a closer understanding of who you are, what you have done, and give them an awareness of the love you have for them personally.  You have called these men and women in to the field of Law Enforcement to be peacemakers.  That is a far more difficult task every passing day.  They need your help.  Watch over them this day.  In your name we pray.  Amen

One thought on “Big John, big bad John

  1. Haven’t heard that song in such a long time. That’s definitely good and intriguing!

    Sent from my iPad



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