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Wreck of the 97 Steve Brady kissed his lovin' wife By the rising of the sun And he said to his children, 'May God bless you For your dad must now go on his run' 'Twas the twenty-second day of that November And the clouds were hanging low He took old 97 out of Washington station Like an arrow shot from a bow I was standing on the mountain that cold and frosty morning And I watched curling smoke below It was smoke from old 97's smokestack Way down on that southern road 97 was the fastest mail train Ever run the southern line But when she reached into Richmond, Virginia She was twenty-seven minutes behind He received his orders at the Richmond station Saying, Steve you're far behind Now this isn't 38 but it's old 97 You must put her into Spencer on time When he read his orders, he said to his fireman Do not obey the whistle or the bell And we'll put old 97 into Spencer on time Or we'll sink her in the bottom pits of hell He saw the brakeman signal and threw back his throttle Although his air was bad And his signalman said when he passed Franklin Junction 'You could not see the man in the cab' Steve looked at his watch and said to his fireman, 'Just throw in a little more coal And when we reach those Cumberland Mountains You can watch old 97 roll He went over the grade, making 90 miles an hour And his whistle broke into a scream He was found when dead with his hand on the throttle And was scalded to death by steam When the news went in oe'r the telegraph wires This is what the Western said, 'That brave, brave man that was drivin' 97 Is laying in North Danville dead The people waited at the depot Till the setting of the sun It was hours and hours the dispatch was waiting For the fastest train ever run Source: The Arizona Wranglers 'The Wreck of the 97'. Recorded in 1929 in Holl ywood, California. Reissued on Various Artists 'Train 45: Railroad Songs of the Early 1900s' Rounder CD 1143. SX apr00
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