Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Heber Springs, AR 9/7/61

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‘Twas a cold wintry night--
Not a star was in sight--
And the north wind was a-howling down the line.
A brave engineer
With his sweetheart so dear,
Stood with his orders to pull old Number 9.
He kissed her goodbye;
There were tears in his eyes,
But the joy in his heart he couldn’t hide.
The whole world looked bright,
For she told him that night
That tomorrow she’d be his blushing bride.

Oh, his wheels hummed a song,
And the train rolled along,
And the black smoke was pouring from the stack.
His headlight’s bright gleam
Seemed to brighten the dream
Of tomorrow, when he’d come rolling by.
He sped 'round a hill,
And his brave heart stood still,
For a headlight was streaming in his face.
He murmured a prayer
As he threw on the air,
For he knew this would be his final race.

In the wreck he was found,
Lying dying on the ground,
And he asked them to raise his weary head.
As his breath slowly went,
This message he sent
To the maiden who thought she would be wed:
“I’ve a little white home
That I bought for our own,
And dreamed we’d be happy by and by.
I will leave it to you,
For I know you’ll be true
‘Til we meet at the pearly gates, goodbye.”

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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