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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
SouthernCelt Lyr Req: Wreck of the Old 97 (10) Lyr Add: THE WRECK OF THE OLD 97 (from Patrick Sky 23 Jun 07

Here's a longer version (more verses) that I found on the internet somewhere a long time ago. Pat Sky's album version from the early 60s uses some of the extra verses that most others leave out.

(Long version)

On one cloudless morning I stood on the mountain
Just watching the smoke from below
It was coming from a lonesome smokestack
Way down on the Southern road

It was 97, the fastest train
That ever ran the Southern line
All the other trains take the side for 97
She's bound for the station on time

Well, they gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia
Saying Steve you're way behind time
This is not 38, but it's old 97
You must put her into Spencer on time

He turned and said to his black greasy fireman
Just shovel on a little more coal
And when we cross that White Oak Mountain
You can just watch old 97 roll

It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville
On that line is a three-mile grade
It was on this grade that he lost his airbrakes
And you can see what a jump she made

He was going down the grade makin' ninety miles an hour
When his whistle broke into a scream
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle
He was scalded to death by the steam

Did she ever pull in? No, she never pulled in,
And at 1:45 he was due,
For hours and hours the switchman waited
For that fast mail that never pulled through.

Did she ever pull in? No, she never pulled in,
And that poor boy must be dead.
He must be layin' out on the long track
With the wheels spinnin' over his head.

Now old 97 was the fastest train
That the South had ever seen,
But she ran so fast on that Sunday morning
That the death score was numbered 14.

A telegram came from Washington Station
And this is what it said
That brave engineer that drove old 97
Is lyin' in old Danville dead

Now ladies, from this you must take warning
From this time on and learn
Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband
He may leave you and never return


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