Turn It On, Turn It On, Turn It On Lyrics – Tom T. Hall

Johnny got up one morning; he went down to the company store
Got him a big box of bullets to fit into his .44
The store man said, “son, are you gonna work? you know you owe me too much to stop.”
John said, “I got a little workin’ to do but I ain’t goin’ by your clock.”

People said john was a slacker, ’cause he wouldn’t fight in their war
A man wasn’t much if he wouldn’t fight back in 1940 and 4
The doctor said john was just too sick to go, but the people said that he was a coward
And one of the men makin’ fun of him was a fellow named Milton Howard

Milton was down at the cold spring, a-drinkin’ from a mason jar
He said, “John, you better get yourself to work or you’re gonna fool around ’til you get fired.”
John blew the dust from his old .44, put two holes in Milton’s head
When johnny walked off to get some more shootin’ done, that ol’ cold spring was a-runnin’ red

Next guy he met was a stigall boy, and the boy had a hammer in his hand
John said “son, you should’ve built yourself a box, ’cause you’re a headed for the promised land.”
Stigall fell down to his knees to pray, and he cried “lord, johnny please don’t shoot!”
Before he got halfway to saying “amen”, well old johnny shot him out of his boots

Word went out through the county, that old john had lost his head
The people were runnin’ and screamin’; there were seven of ’em lyin’ there dead
Johnny hid out in a farmhouse; he had satisfaction in his eyes
He said “I know they’re coming to get me, boys, but they ain’t a-gonna take me alive.”

People gathered ’round that old farmhouse; it was the relatives of all them dead
Now john said, “if the sheriff comes through that door I’m gonna fill him plumb full of lead.”
The sheriff kicked down that old farmhouse door, but old john’s gun would not shoot
Johnny just smiled at the sheriff and said, “the lord must think a lot of you.”

They took old john to the jailhouse; he entered in a guilty plea
The judge said death in the electric chair, ’cause it’s murder in the first degree
John’s last meal was a lot of fried chicken, cold beans and baby squash
He ate every bite that they brought him, then he smiled and said, “I thank you all a lot.”

They put old john in the electric chair; they shaved his ankles and his head
The preacher said, “son, have you got something to say; in a minute you’re a-gonna be dead.”
John said, “I ain’t no coward, and the people know that I won’t run.”
Then johnny smiled up at the warden and said, “turn it on, turn it on, turn it on!”