The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19483   Message #826025
Posted By: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
14-Nov-02 - 01:46 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Child of the Railroad Engineer
Subject: RE: Origins: 'The Orphan's Lament'
Richie, the one we knew was the same- with those little changes folks make when they disremember the words as they're singing, and fill in with workable ones. Don't know if your vsn is older or younger than ours- I would think ours would be nearer the original, but that can be checked. I do think that the line, "Just hang a light when I pass tonight, hang it where it can be seen," makes more sense than, Hang a light by my bed tonight," since he was not in bed but out in his passing train. Etc. Our second verse again is almost the same:

In a cottage by the railroad side

Sat a mother with watchful eye;

Saw a ray of hope and a feeble smile

As the train went rushing by. One short look was his only chance

To see that pale light a-gleam.

In the midnight air there arose a prayer-

Thank God the light was green!