Well they gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia,
Said: “Steve, you’re way behind time,
“This is not 38, this is Ol’ 97,
“Put her into Spencer on time.”
Then he turned around and said to his black, greasy fireman,
“Shovel on a little more coal.
“And when we cross that White Oak mountain,
“Watch Ol’ ’97 roll.”
And then a telegram come from Washington station,
This is how it read:
“Oh that brave engineer that run ol 97,
“Is lyin in old Danville dead.”
‘Cos he was going down a grade making 90 miles an hour,
The whistle broke into a scream.
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle,
Scalded to death by the steam.
One more time!
Oh, now all you ladies you’d better take a warning,
From this time on and learn.
Never speak hard words to your true-lovin’ husband.
He may leave you and never return.