Casey Jones

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Casey Jones
by Wallace Saunders
There is little doubt that without the popular ballad that bears his name Casey Jones would be forgotten today except by railroad historians searching through dusty archives. This is to be expected as virtually no acts of physical heroism survive long outside the memories of those who were alive at the time without a means of powerfully capturing the popular imagination.— Excerpted from The Ballad of Casey Jones on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Casey Jones, also billed as The Ballad of Casey Jones or Casey Jones, the brave engineer, is an american folk song that deals with the story of Casey Jones, an railroad engineer, who died in his train wreck. The song was written around 1900 by Wallace Saunders and Eddie Newton. The first version was published in 1902.


Lyrics[edit]

Casey Jones, 1928 (version of Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers)

The following are the lyrics. On many records, there are some little changes.

Come all you rounders if you want to hear
A story 'bout a brave engineer,
Casey Jones was the rounder's name
"Twas on the Illinois Central that he won his fame.

Casey Jones, he loved a locomotive.
Casey Jones, a mighty man was he.
Casey Jones run his final locomotive
With the Cannonball Special on the old I.C.

Casey pulled into memphis on Number Four,
The engine foreman met him at the roundhouse door;
Said, "Joe Lewis won't be able to make his run
So you'll have to double out on Number One."

If I can have Sim Webb, my fireman, my engine 382,
Although I'm tired and weary, I'll take her through.
Put on my whistle that come in today
Cause I mean to keep her wailing as we ride and pray.

Casey Jones, mounted the cabin,
Casey Jones, with the orders in his hand.
Casey Jones, he mounted the cabin,
Started on his farewell Journey to the promised land.

They pulled out of Memphis nearly two hours late,
Soon they were speeding at a terrible rate.
And the people knew by the whistle's moan.
That the man at the throttle was Casey Jones.

Need more coal there, fireman Sim,
Open that door and heave it in.
Give that shovel all you got
And we'll reach Canton on the dot

On April 30, 1900, that rainy morn,
Down in Mississippi near the town of Vaughan,
Sped the Cannonball Special only two minutes late
Traveling 70 miles an hour when they saw a freight.

The caboose number 83 was on the main line,
Casey's last words were "Jump, Sim, while you have the time.
"At 3:52 that morning came the fareful end,
Casey took his farewell trip to the promised land.

Casey Jones, he died at the throttle,
With the whistle in his hand.
Casey Jones, he died at the throttlle,
But we'll all see Casey in the promised land.

His wife and three children were left to mourn
The tragic death of Casey on that April morn.
May God through His goodness keep them by His grace
Till they all meet together in that heavenly place.

Casey's body lies buried in Jackson, Tennessee
Close beside the tracks of the old I.C.
May his spirit live forever throughout the land
As the greatest of all heroes of a railroad man.

Casey Jones, he died at the throttle,
Casey Jones, with the whistle in his hand.
Casey Jones, he died at the throttle,
But we'll all see Casey in the promised land.

References[edit]