The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15451   Message #138596
Posted By: Frank of Toledo
19-Nov-99 - 10:51 PM
Thread Name: ADD: The Brave Engineer..Slim Critchlow
The actual title is THE TRUSTY LARIAT (COWBOY FIREMAN), and it was written by Harry McClintock. My dear friend just recently recorded it in Portland, Oregon. Merritt Herring's CD "Precious Memories" has the lyrics, and some neat and interesting notes. Merritt says: "I learned it from Slim Critchlow, and was taking it as a true story until the "45th day of May" gave me the clue that I have been taken in."

Through the high Sierra Mountains came an SP train.
The hoboes tried to ride her, but found 'twas all in vain.
The conductor took the ticket and he counted every soul.
The engineer looked straight ahead and the fireman shoveled coal.

Now, the cowboy was a fireman, but do not think that strange.
He could make more money shoveling coal than riding on the range.
So, though he was a fireman, and though he had to sweat,
He still remained a western guy and he kept his lariat.

Now the train was way behind time and the passengers all were wild,
When on the track a-sudden there strolled a little child.
Her golden hair in ringlets were hanging down her back.
She little knew the danger great as she strolled along the track.

"My God," the hooghead shouted as he put on all the brakes.
I'll never stop this train in time 'cause she ain't got what it takes.
Oh, Heaven help the wee tot," he cried in anguish wild.
"Can nothing stop the SP train and save the little child?"

Then up sprang the cowboy fireman and a gallant lad was he.
"Now I will save that baby if I wreck the whole SP.
He climbed out on to the running board with tears his eyes were wet.
And in his hand, our hero brave, had his trusty lariat.

He quickly dropped a fast loop 'round a pole beside the track.
And tied the other end of it around the big smokestack.
He jerked the train right off the rails and he caused an awful wreck.
And our hero lay there in the ditch with the engine on his neck.

We will all remember that forty-fifth of May.
When there were many gallant hearts all filled with fear that day.
They buried that poor fireman where the prairie winds blow wild.
He killed two hundred passengers but thank God he saved the child.