The Midnight Express
Jim Blake, your wife is dying,
Came over the wires tonight;
The message was brought to the office,
By a lad most deadened with fright Be rushed right into the office,
His face so pale and white,
Said, "Send this to Dad on his engine,
For Mother is dying tonight."
Jin Blake was our oldest driver,
He was running the midnight express He had pulled the throttle lever,
The most of his life I guess;
When I saw that the message Was for my old comrade, Jim,
You can bet that it went in a hurry Over the wires to him.
In about half an hour This message came back from afar "Tell wife I'll meet her at midnight Tell her I'm praying for her;"
I left my son in the office And took this message to his wife I found her a dying woman With scarcely a breath of life.
When I first I entered the sick room
She took me to be Jim
But and sank back in exhaustion,
When she saw that it was not him;
She raised her head from her pillow Her face so pale and white And prayed in a dying whisper,
"God, speed the express train tonight"
Over hills, and vales, and valleys
There ruined a winding train
Such creaking, and crashing, and grinding
Oh, what a terrible strain
But Jin held on to the lever
Guiding this dangerous flight
Till a voice called out from heaven
"God, speed the express train tonight."
Collected by M.C. Parler Sung by Bessie Atchley
Transcribed by Bessie Atchley Green Forest, Arkansas
July 7, 1960
Reel 389, Item 7In less than half an hour The train will be along,
But there is another message That says that something is wrong;
It says there is a disaster,
The express train has entered the ditch The engineer is dying Derailed by an open switch
But here is another message From the engineer I guess,
"Tell wife that I'll meet her in heaven Don't wait for the midnight express."
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