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Wreck of the Old 97

This song is by John Mellencamp and appears on the album Other People's Stuff (2018).

This song is a cover of "Wreck on the Southern Old 97" by Henry Whitter.
When they give him his orders at Monroe, Virginia
Sayin', "Steve, you're way behind the times"
"This is not 38, this is Old 97"
"So get here in Spencer, on time"

Well he turned around his head, said to his old greasy fireman
"Shovel on a little more coal"
"When we cross that big White Mountain"
"You'll be watchin' Old 97 start to roll"

Well it's a mighty long road from Lynchburg down to Danville
On a line of three-mile grade
It was on that grade that he lost his airbrakes
You should have seen the jump he had to make

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

When the telegram came from Washington city
And this is how the telegram read
"That the brave engineer in the old 97"
"Is laid out in Danville and he's dead"

Now all of you ladies take heed and take warning
And try to learn never speak harsh words
Against your loving husband
'Cause he may never return
No he may never return

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