The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60595   Message #969979
Posted By: masato sakurai
20-Jun-03 - 08:26 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Wreck of No. 52
Subject: Lyr Add: THE WRECK OF NO. 52
The title is "The Wreck of No. 52," based on a 1933 railroad disaster. The version below is from Katie Letcher Lyle, Scalded to Death by the Steam (Algonquin Books of Chapell Hill, 1988, pp. 180-181).

THE WRECK OF NO. 52
(Cliff Carlisle??)

On a bright and sunny day, in the merry month of May,
From Sanford a train pulled out on time,
Was old No. 52, a freight that went on through,
The fastest on the old Southern line.

George Allen was the name of that engine of fame
Who rode with that train that fated day,
When he left his wife alone, and his wife there alone,
He thought he'd return to her next day.

The train was loaded down, with stock northern bound
And little did they think they'd out delay,
Oh, little did they know just what fate would bestow
Before they had ever gone halfway.

No one was to blame for the wrecking of that train
But a little boy who was out at play,
He put a spike on the rail; the next train could not fail
To wreck that came along that way.

Everyone knows the tale, how the train left the rail,
And the cattle they were dying everywhere,
Mr. Allen thought of home and his wife there alone
When the steam from the engine filled the air.

On his deathbed Allen lay from the burns he got that day,
His wife and his children by his side,
Then he heard the Master call, and he left them one and all,
For Allen had taken his last ride.

~Masato

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