Collected by Mary C. Parler Sung by Helen Fultz
Transcribed by Linda Humphrey Mayfield, Ark.
Reel 408 Item 10
The Midnight Express
Then Mike O'Riely"s driver Had charge of the midnight express Had charge of the lever and throttle The most of his life I guess.
One night his son entered my office,
His face it was wounded white,
Saying send this to Dad in his engine, For Mamma is dying tonight.
As soon as I found that the message Was from my comrade's kin,
I amde no delay, but I hastened away,
I sent the message to him.
In less than a half an hour The message came back from him:
Tell wife I'll greet her at midnight And tell her to pray for Jim.
I left the boy in my office,
The message I'd take to his wife;
I found the dying woman Scarcely agrasp of life.
And when I entered her chamber She took me at first for Jim,
And she fell back in exhausted When she saw that I was not him.
She fell back on her pillow,
Her face it was wounded white,
And she said in a dying whisper,
God speed that express tonight.
O'er hill,o'er mountains, o'er valleys, On some there's a midnight express With many a dangerous peril Along that pass I guess.The Midnight Express (continued)
And there sat Jim at the throttle Guiding her dangerous flight;
Her voice spoke out of the darkness, God speed that express tonight.
They were not far from the station,
The track it was dark and long,
And lo, here comes a signal,
Saying that something is wrong.
It speaks a sad disaster,
The engine is in the ditch,
The engineer is lying
To the side of an open switch.
And, hark, here comes the message From the engineer, I guess,
Tell wife that I'll meet her An Heaven, Don't wait for the midnight express.
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