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Wreck of the Old 97


Well, they gave him his orders in Monroe, Virginia,
Sayin', "Steve, you're way behind time.
This is not 38, it is Old 97,
You must put her into Spencer on time."

Well, the engineer he said to his black, greasy fireman,
"Shovel on a little more coal,
And when we cross that White Oak Mountain,
You can watch Old 97 roll."

It's a mighty hard road from Lynchburg to Danville,
A road with a three-mile grade;
It was on that grade that he lost his airbrake,
You can see what a jump she made.

He was goin' down the grade making 90 miles an hour,
When his whistle broke into a scream.
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle,
He was scalded to death by the steam.

Now all you ladies, you must take warning,
From this story a lesson learn,
Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband,
He may leave you and never return.


Illustrations by Jesper Deleuran

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