Digital Tradition Mirror

The Wreck of the Royal Palm

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Wreck of the Royal Palm

On a dark and stormy night
The rain was falling fast
Two crack trains on the SOuthern road
With a screaming whistle blast
Were speeding down that line
For home and Christmas day
On the Royal Palm and the Ponce de Leon
Was laughter bright and gay.

Then coming around the curve
At forty miles an hour
The Royal Palm was making time
Amid the drenching shower;
There came a mighty crash
The two great engines met
And in the minds of those who live
Is a feeling they can't forget.

It was an awful sight
Amid the pouring rain,
The dead and dying lying there
Beneath that mighty train.
No tongues can ever tell
No pen can ever write
No one will know but those that saw
The horrors of that night.

On board the two great trains
The folks were bright and gay
When like a flash the Master called
They had no time to pray.
Then in a moment's time
The awful work was done
And many sould that fatal night
Had made their final run.

There's many a saddened home
Since that sad Christmas Day
Whose loved ones never will return
To drive the gloom away.
They were on the Royal Palm
As she sped across the state
Without a single warning cry
They went to meet their fate.

We're on the road of life
And like the railroad man,
WE ought to do our best to make
The station if we can.
Then let us all take care
And keep our orders straight
For if we get our orders mixed
WE sure will be too late.

Recorded by Vernon Dalhart
note: Oddly enough, all the serious casualties and
 fatalities were aboard the Ponce de Leon; The Ponce
 de Leon was the one that was speeding.
FRom Scalded to Death By the Steam, Lyle

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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