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Origins: The Wreck of No. 52

In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Wreck of No. 52

Mrrzy 12 Sep 19 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,GUEST 12 Sep 19 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,joe at library 24 Feb 18 - 07:46 PM
Joe Offer 23 Feb 18 - 12:11 AM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 18 - 03:23 AM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 18 - 02:56 AM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 18 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Blues Moon Radio 21 Feb 18 - 12:45 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 04 - 12:22 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Feb 04 - 09:33 AM
masato sakurai 11 Feb 04 - 05:59 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 04 - 02:57 AM
GUEST,Cookie 20 Jun 03 - 10:37 PM
masato sakurai 20 Jun 03 - 09:08 PM
masato sakurai 20 Jun 03 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Cookie 20 Jun 03 - 05:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: The Wreck of No. 52
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 11:54 AM

Thanks for all that typing, Joe!

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Subject: RE: Origins: The Wreck of No. 52
Date: 12 Sep 19 - 01:14 AM

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: GUEST,joe at library
Date: 24 Feb 18 - 07:46 PM

I finished the article about the death of the engineer, and then moved it up above. I hope people will take a look at it. It's a terrific story.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 12:11 AM

Despite grammatical shortcomings, I think the newspaper account is a great story. It was a hell of a lot of typing, so I hope somebody will read it.

Now, the song says the engineer died from injuries from the wreck, but that wasn't stated in this newspaper The Danville Bee for May 5, 1933, said the engineer had taken a turn for the worse, but the fireman was expected to live. The May 6 Bee said a 7-year-old boy named Junior Cardwell admitted placing a spike on the rails to flatten it whild two other boys looked on to see what would happen. No warrants were issued, but the boys were being given a whipping.

Here's another article from the Danville Bee May 6, 1933:


Engineer to be Buried at Clover; Services at Local Church

The Southern Railway company's fast freight wreck at Stacey, N.C., on Wednesday took a human life after all.
George J. Allen, 53, engineer of the train who was badly scalded by steam passed away at Memorial hospital last night a few minuted after eight o'clock after weakening steadily during the day. He died of toxemia, set up by reason of the extended scalded area about his body, stopping the functions of the pores of the skin. Possibly he had internal hurts also, but he was never well enough to stand extended examination.
The engineer was never able to shet material light on the wreck. Before the fatal reaction set in he told visitors that it all happened to quickly that he did nor ralized what took place. He had only a dim recollection of being taken from the hissing fog of steam which swept back into the shattere cab where he lay maidst the weight of coal which heaved forward at the train plowed into the earth on its side.
A fatal outcome was indicated yesterday when he developed fatal symptoms. His wife and members of his family were at his bedside....

and then I ran out of free use of the service, and had to access the rest on a library computer, where it wasn't as clear.

when the end came. Throughout the day he received telegrams of sympathy from colleagues in the service. One of these came during the final anguish of death while hospital nurses labored at his side to make the going easier.
Allen's death caused universal grief in the service especially in Danville. He lived in Danville - on Keen Street - for many years before the duties of his calling necessitated his removal to Spencer. He maintained his membership in Ramah Lodge of Masons in Danville which will officiate at his funeral which was to be held at Shelton Memorial Church at ten o'clock tomorrow morning followed by the removal of the remains to his old home near Clover in Halifax County.
The engineer had been in Southern service for over thirty years. He was promoted to the position of engineer September 20th 1906 and while he had passenger train assignments he was cjhiefly entrusted with the special freight trains which run on express schedules to get perishables to their destination. He was known as a highly efficient technician in railway service and had shared the hard knocks of railroading with its more happy moments. Fifteen years ago he was at the throttle of the long peach train which was ditched at Stokesland not very far from where he met his death but the engine in that wreck did not roll over. Once he threw his brakes during war time at Ruffin and ran with screaming wheels into a wagon passing over the crossing in which five were killed. He was exonerated of blame in both of these, probably his major disasters, prior to that of Wednesday.
Mr. Allen was a son of G.J. Allen of Clover, when he spent his boyhood days on a large plantation. He was a second cousin to J.N. Webb (?), a former well known Danville resident.
He was married to Miss Clair Hughes of Eastern Carolina. She survives, with three sons, John Allen, George Allen, and Hugh Allen. His four sisters and two brothers are Mrs. J.T. Moore and Miss Lillie Allen of Charlottesville NC. Mrs Elizabeth (?) of Richmond, and Miss Marcia Allen of Washington State. V.C. Allen of Clover, and Walter Allen of Newport News.
He was a member of the Railway Brotherhood and the Eastern Star and maintained his church affiliation at Elberton(?) Memorial Church.
[final paragraph, about fireman Woodson, is blurred out]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 03:23 AM

The front page of the Danville (VA) Bee for May 4, 1933, is here:

It's a long article. The grammar leaves something to be desired and I'm not going to try to correct it, but this is a terrific piece of writing. I'll transcribe it, but I'll have to do it a bit at a time because it's a very long article:



    Condition of Engineer Allen Described as Serious at Hospital Where He is Suffering From Scalds - Fireman Woodson Shows Improvement - Six Others Less Severely Injured When Engine and Long String of Cars Bearing Livestock Leaves Rails Near Ruffin - Train Running Fifty Miles an Hour When it Left Rails

    The Bee learned on good authority this afternoon that information has reached the Southern Railway Company that the derailment of fast freight train No. 52 at Ruffin, N.C., yesterday - the Southern's worst wreck since the Barnum and Bailey show train disaster - may have been caused by a child laying a spike upon the track.
    No confirmation as to the credibility of the report was ascertainable. Division Superintendent DeButts is not here. Mrs. George Allen, wife of the injured engineer who is here from Spencer to be with her husband was cognizant of the report however.
    Mr. Allen's condition was described this afternoon as still quite serious. He is scalded about the face, ears, neck, both arms and both legs and in addition inhales some of the steam injuring his throat. Dr. Julian Robinson said that the affected area was quite extensive and that while there is no sign of complications that there is the possibility of a pneumonia or kidney condition. Mr. Allen's strong constitution however, is a valuable factor.
    Mr. Woodson's condition was appreciably improved this afternoon. His face, left hand, left and right ankle are scalded. Woodson is quoted as saying that the train was running at about fifty miles an hour when the engine suddenly left the metals, plunged off the track and rolled over taking most of the train with it.
    Reports that a spike placed on the rails may have caused the derailment were given further credence this afternoon when Ruffin authorities reported that the imprint of a spike had been observed on one of the drive wheels of the overturned locomotive.
    Officials at the Southern Railway Company today were trying to determine whether fast freight train No. 52, known as a "bean train" and carrying livestock and perishable foods which was wrecked a mile south of Ruffin yesterday afternoon at four o'clock was deliberately derailed by a spike or was due to some other non-malicious cause.
    An investigation was being conducted by special officers of the company and at the divisional superintendent's office nothing was given out which would indicate that an official decision had been learned. A spike showing that it had been run over by the drivers of the locomotive is in the possession of the officials. Some of the railway men hold that it is mute testimony of deliberate train-wrecking.
    Eight men were hurt in the piling up of 27 loaded cars, two of them seriously. Engineer George J. Allen, of Spencer, N.C. (formerly of Danville) and L.O. Woodson, fireman, also of Spencer are in Memorial hospital severely scalded about the face, neck, and legs with steam which poured from bursted pipes as the heavy Mogul type of engine turned over on its side 20 feet from the front porch of a negro cabin. Of the two, Allen is the most seriously hurt. They are in the hands of Dr. Julian Robinson, Southern Railway Company surgeon. Conductor G.H. Miller, of Spencer, N.C., was also injured and was treated for his hurts but is not a patient. The five other men known to have been hurt are those who rode the chicken cars to attend the birds en route from Tennessee to New York ar: W.J. Beard, of Watertown, Tenn.; J.A. Lefevre, of Cookville, Tenn.; James Chapman, of Atlanta, Ga.; H.A. Lackey, of Columbia, S.C.; and Claude Bryant, of Cookville, Tenn. These men were bruised and had cuts about the face and head and were treated by Dr. Wharton at Ruffin.
    Three wrecking crews were taken to the scene of the wreck described by many of the older Southern employees as the worst for many years in the Danville division and toiled all night amidst the carcasses of slain steers, pigs, and chickens. The southbound track was opened just before six o'clock and truck line traffic was being maintained. It will be midnight tonight before the northbound track is open, owing to the vast amount of chaotic debris piled high.
    Fears that hoboes now freely riding Southern trains might be found in the debris have not been confirmed, but late this morning it was said at the scene that they might yet be found as the derricks had not torn loose the vast volume of material. But for the Southern's new rule - sending a special agent with all fast freights to keep them clear of hoboes, a heavy death toll might have resulted. At Spencer the train was combed for hoboes and those found on it were told to get off. Four eluded vigilance and are understood to have swung off at Reidsville.
    No estimate of the loss could be given at the divisional headquarters today. This will not be possible until the claim agents have filed their reports and checked them with bills of lading. Much produce was being sold at the scene of the train wreck and many people were getting hogs and steers at low prices. Many early vegetables, especially potatoes, were to be had for a song. The Southern carries its own insurance, it is said, setting up reserves for that contingency.
    Hundreds of Danville people went to the scene again today to witness the Southern organization put to the severe test of opening the trunk line as quickly as possible. Rows of dead animals were to be seen and throughout the night suffering cattle were either pole-axed where they lay or revolver bullets ended their life. Eleven of the 27 cars carried stock or poultry.
    Wrecking crews from Danville, Spencer, and Monroe were at the scene. The heavy hooks on chains were lifting the shattered cars and pitching them to one side. A few cars of lumber and merchandise were in the train and thousands of chickens. Many of these escaped when the coops lining the sides of those cars burst burst open and many were seized and carried away by unauthorized persons before the Southern's organization could take charge. Two race horses were in a forward coach and were pulled out of the debris yesterday skinned and cut and possibly of no further service to the track. There was a report that a stable man in the car had not been found.
    The engine and the tender lay on their side clear of the track and will not be touched for the time being.
    The engineer and the fireman talked freely last night despite their suffering but there was little they could say. "It all happened so quickly" Mr. Allen said. There was no time to jump even if they had wanted to. Woodson was found half buried under the avalanche of coal which swept forward as the engine hit the dirt. Thus pinioned with the engineer steam poured back on them. The train was making good time when it piled up.
    The wreck was of monumental proportions and many of the older Southern employees said that it was the worst in point of damage that they could remember. What actually happened may never be known, though an enquiry will be made to determine the cause, if possible, and the engineer and fireman will be questioned as soon as they are well enough. The opinion of railway men who first arrived at the scene coupled with that of some of the train crew was that as the engine rounded the Stacey curve the tender left the metals and plowed along the ties carrying first one and then the other until the whole train out of control piled up. W.J. Beard of Watertown, Tenn., one of the chicken attendants who was well forward in the train said that at first there was the loud noise of something bumping along the tracks then he felt the trucks of the car he was in, leave the tracks and in a second or two the whole car rose up in the air and the air was filled with rending tinders and breaking metal. "It was simply hell" he said "to be caught in that car with the noise of the injured animals all about. It seemed like an eternity before I could get out."
    Neither Engineer Allen nor Fiureman Woodson left the cab. Possibly they did not have time to, so quickly did the wreck take place, consequently they were thrown against the side of the cab and sprayed with the live steam from bursting pipes and burned by ashes from the firebox.
    As the heavy engine plowed into the dirt on its side, three foremost box cars piled up into each other forming a mass of splintered debris as high as a two story house. The cars behind did not "hump" into the air as is usual. They broke out of line in zig-zag formation the coupling pins snapping like hairpins. When this was done the terrific force of the rest of the fast moving train closed up the wrecked cars in the orderly fashion of folds of a concertina each car standing side to side in a serried row and mashed almost flat.
    The wreck happened beside the highway and the automobile driver who brought the injured engineer and fireman to the hospital, saw the wreck happen from the distance. By the time he reached the scene the wheels of some of the upset cars were still spinning, dust hung thick in the air and there was a wild din of dumb animals in misery.
    Seeing the condition of the men in the engine he did not wait for possible other casualties. Negro families living in cabins, a few yards from where the inferno broke loose, were to (sic) frightened to give a coherent account of what happened.
    Early arrivals at the wreck scene found scenes of indescribable confusion. Many animals with broken backs, hogs, cows, and heifers lay about the track side groaning. Far forward, close to the engine the frightened whinneyings of pinioned horses could be heard. Down in the depths of the wreck came the dying groans of cattle and the lusty squawking of chickens added to the bedlam.
    Ruffin sent first word to Danville and wrecking crews were organized. Another call went to Greensboro, N.C. Dr. C.W. Wharton, of Ruffin, hastened to the scene and found five men bleeding from cuts about the head and face. There were chicken car attendants including: W.J. Beard, of Watertown, Tenn.; J.A. Lefevre, of Cookville, Tenn.; James Chapman, of Atlanta, Ga.; H.A. Lackey, of Columbia, Tenn.; and Claude Bryant, of Cookville, Tenn. They were all able to stay about the wreck.
    The first fear was that some hoboes might have been killed, but as hour by hour the debris was lifted and cast aside no sign of further human injury could be found.
    Sergeant R.S. Harris, of the North Carolina highway patrol force, and Patrolman W.B. Kelly, hastened from Reidsville on hearing that motorists were causing a traffic jam on the road. Harris on arrival abandoned the task of directing traffic and turned to the more humanitarian task of putting groaning animals with glassy eyes out of their misery. With a box of shells in one hand and a hot revolver in the other, he went from car to car putting a merciful bullet in the brain of cows, heifers, and hogs that he could see were mutilated and caught in the wreckage. He dealt similarly with the dying animals on the roadside.
    W.G. Marley, Southern Railway special officer in Danville, hastened to the scehe and had a big job. Before he got there it is undoubtedly true that many of the dead hogs and heifers were carried away. Three dead hogs were seen loaded on a truck driven by a negro which happened along at the wreck. Figures could also be seen disappearing into the woods with generous handfuls of chickens. About a thousand chickens released from the coops and undamaged stalked around the scene of carnage pecking about the tracks. Harley sent for reinforcements to assist in the preservation of property until the adjusting agents could arrive on the scene. Just before dark and officer fired a wide shot at one negro who is said to have been warned not to touch any of the chickens but who apparently could not resist the temptation. He left the scene of the wreck at once without any chickens. One negro was heard to say "I knew de Lawd would send me something."
    The Southern organized the wreck-clearing in the usual methodical way. A lineman clambered up a pole with two wires and telephone service to Danville was at once established on a portable set. Division Superintendant H.A. DeButts was in Richmond but his representatives hastened to the scene.
    All officials who were approached were reluctant to say anything about the wreck, and would neither speculate on the cause nor estimate the damage in the absence of checks on bills of lading and more definite information on the number of dead cattle.
    There was no merchandise in the train, but several cars had vegetables and there was a generous supply of new potatoes scattered about the tracks.
    The distress cries of two race horses imprisoned in the front car brought ready human response. Bystanders assisted members of the train crew with crowbars and saws to cut holes through the mass of wood. As sections were cut away the two horses could be seen quivering and bleeding. Finally when a hold large enough was cut both horses scrambled out into the light of day. Their legs were not broken, but they were cut about the body and their legs were barked of skin.
    As word of the spectacular wreck spread moire and more cars arrived and at nightfall there were thousands of people at the scene. Lurid flares lit up the scene and above the din of the derricks lifting wreckage and casting it aside to clear one track rose the cries of injured animals. Every once in a while a pistol would bark.
    A negress, whose name was not learned was in hysterics most of the night. Her cabin is on the opposite side of the road. She heard a "terrible noise" and looking through the window she saw the railway locomotive leave the track and the whole train bear down on her cabin with a road. The engine turned over about twenty feet from her front porch.
    More than a hundred railway men worked all night. As headway was made in the wreckage electric torch beams combed the uncovered area for human remains but none was found. Three hoboes left the third car which was reduced to splinters at Reidsville, N.C.
    The engine No. 4893 was still on its side in the dirt this morning. It plunged clear of the tracks and the wreckers' first task was to clear the line to let through traffic.
    Trains No. 33, 34, and 38 were rerouted by way of South Boston and Durham and other trains were held at Greensboro. At six o'clock this morning the Southbound track was clear and trains could pass but it was expected it would be all day before the northbound tracks have been cleared and rebuilt.

    So....the wreck took place on May 3, 1933, on the Southern Railway at Ruffin, North Carolina. Ruffin is 14 miles southwest of Danville via U.S. Highway 29. The worst injuries were to the engineer and firemen, both from Spencer NC (home of the huge Southern Railway yard and roundhouse and shops - now a terrific railroad museum).

    That's all, folks!


    I couldn't find a photo of the Wreck of No. 52, but here's a photo of Norfolk & Western No 611 on its way through Ruffin in 2009:I saw No. 611 at the Southern Railway Shops in Spencer NC in the Fall of 2016. No. 611 was in Spencer for repairs, but it is based at another terrific railroad museum in Roanoke, Virginia. This is a great area for train buffs.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 02:56 AM

Mudcatter Janie took me to Danville, Virginia, last year - on September 22, to be exact. We went to the site of the Wreck of the Old 97, and we saw a lot of stuff about the Old 97 at the city visitor center and an Old 97 mural on a wall downtown - but nothing about the Number 52. Scalded to Death by the Steam (by Katie Letcher Lyle, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1991) cites newspaper articles from May 4 and 6, 1933, so the wreck must have happened within a few days before May 4.

In his Long Steel Rail (page 182), Norm Cohen says that Cliff Carlisle wrote "The Wreck of the Number 52," but that's all Cohen has to say about the song. Note that Cohen provided the information Katie Letcher Lyle used in Scalded to Death by the Steam.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 02:34 AM

Here's the Cliff Carlisle recording of The Wreck of Number 52:

This one might have a little better quality, but may not play in all nations:

The lyrics Masato posted above from Scalded to Death by the Steam are apparently a transcription of the Cliff Carlisle recording.

Here are the notes from the Scalded book, page 181:

There is not much new about the song. Carlisle continues to depend on the tried-and-true formula. The poem has one slightly more sophisticated characteristic than most: there is internal rhyme in the first and third line of each stanza, as if modeled on the ballad "Jesse James," whose tune it fits. The errors in rhythm, the extra syllables or syllables omitted, are puzzling; it would have been so simple to rewrite the lines slightly for accurate rhythm. The only conclusion is that this song, and others like it, were composed hastily and carelessly for an uncritical public.

Newspaper sources were the Atlanta Journal, 24-30 Aug. 1908; The Danville Bee, 4 May 1933; Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4 May 1933 and 6 May 1933.
Great thanks to Norm Cohen, who provided me with a tape of the recording by Carlisle of "The Wreck of No. 52," and to my friend Hugh Agee of Athens, Georgia, who sent me the clippings from the Atlanta Journal.
Thanks also to Norm Cohen for putting me in touch with Eugene Wiggins of Dahlonega, Georgia, and to Gene Wiggins, who sent me information about Ben Dewberry, and to Robert D. Jacobs and Sidney A. Dewberry of Atlanta for their help, and to Shelby F. Lowe of Douglasville, Georgia, for a picture.
Pick Temple recalls a childhood incident that shows the universality of boys' putting objects on the tracks. He and a couple of friends one day went up past Mt. Royal Station in Baltimore and "climbed a fence and sat on a grassy slope looking down at the trains in the maze of tracks north of the station. The grass sloped down to the top of a stone wall where we stood and looked down about six or eight feet to the tracks, with a stream of water trickling by in a ditch. There was the Third Rail, guarded by a sort of wooden trough, open at the top so the shoes of the electric locos could slide along them. We found a piece of wire, a sort of hoop from an old barrel, and tossed it down on the tracks to see what it would do. It landed on the Third Rail and, at the same time, partly in the trickle of water running beside the tracks. It sizzled and popped and sparked and scared us half to death. We thought we had shorted out the entire railroad and stopped every train for miles in each direction! Of course we hadn't, but we felt responsible. I climbed down the wall and kicked the wire off the rail, thus allowing the B & O to function again!"
Lyle's Law states that once learned, or heard of, a new word or fact will be encountered again within a very short time, On the day after I was writing this essay, Friday, July 9, 1982, the Roanoke Times reported an incident in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, in which five teenagers were charged with tripping a switch that sent a commuter train roaring into a factory, killing the engineer and critically injuring a passenger.
Responses to requests for information of this wreck came from David Luther, my dear mother-in-law Frances S. Lyle, Adelle Clement, Chris Sutphin, Mrs. Donald Breedlove, and the people mentioned in the article. My special thanks to Elizabeth Rice of Danville for the photograph of No. 52, and to Marvin Black of Greensboro, North Carolina, for his loan of the photograph of Ben Dewberry's wrecked engine. Proving that these old wreck songs still have viability, Willie 'n' Waylon's "Luckenbach, Texas," contains the line: "Between Hank Williams' pain songs, and Dewberry's train songs. . ."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Wreck of No. 52
From: GUEST,Blues Moon Radio
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 12:45 PM

Hi, this is a great site - I'm bookmarking it - I have that song and want to play it in conjunction with the anniversary of the tragedy on my radio show - glad to learn from this page that it was in 1933 - but wonder if my fellow Blues scholars might know the location of the wreck and the actual date, please? Thanks so much... info appreciated!

Clair DeLune,
Professor of Blues History; author of South Carolina Blues; and host of Blues Moon Radio on since 1990

I welcome your insights and links to news stories of the event (which I could not uncover, so hoping y'all might!)
clearbluesday at yahoo dot com

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Subject: #52
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 12:22 PM

Hi, Dave - I guess I should have explained myself. When I add tunes, I put MIDI links with the lyrics and on the top of the thread. Click, and ye shall find.

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Subject: RE: THE WRECK OF NO. 52- kids & spike on RR tracks
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 09:33 AM

Joe Offer:

Seems clear that this would go nicely to "The Wreck of the Old 97".
I'd be interested in hearing what tune you added. That might make it possible to use both this one and "97" on my projected all-railroad CD.

Dave Oesterreich

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Subject: RE: THE WRECK OF NO. 52- kids & spike on RR tracks
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 05:59 AM

Cliff Carlisle's 'Wreck Of No. 52' [audio] is at The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites (REQUESTS PAGE SEVEN).

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Subject: RE: THE WRECK OF NO. 52- kids & spike on RR tracks
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 02:57 AM

I added a tune to this one.

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Subject: RE: Need title, please help- kids & spike on RR tracks
From: GUEST,Cookie
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 10:37 PM

Thank you so much. You made my friend very happy. He remembered
this from his childhood but couldn't remember the name of it.

Have a nice weekend.

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Subject: RE: Need title, please help- kids & spike on RR tracks
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 09:08 PM

Written by Fred Richards & Tony Martin, w&m, 1933. Recorded by Fred Richards in 05/23/1933 as "Freight Wreck of Number 52," and by Cliff Carlisle in 07/26/1933 as "Wreck of Number 52." (Meade et al., Country Music Sources, p. 78)

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WRECK OF NO. 52
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 08:26 PM

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).

(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.


Click to play

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Subject: Need title, please help
From: GUEST,Cookie
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:49 PM

Would anyone know the title to this song???

It is very old. probably 1920's to 1940's. It is about kids? putting a
spike on the railroad tracks, and a brave train engineer named Mr.Allen trying to save the train.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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