Mudcat Café message #1368343 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76910   Message #1368343
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
31-Dec-04 - 02:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Hell-Bound Train
Norm Cohen pointed out similarities of "The Hell-Bound Train" to "Ride the Black Valley Railroad, credited to I. N. Tarbox, printed in One Hundred Choice Selections, No. 11, 1876. Cohen printed three verses only.

A full supply of bad whiskey
For our engine is taken here,
And a queer-looking fellow from Hades
Steps on for engineer.

Our engineer chuckles and dances
In the wild lurid flashes he throws.
Hotter blaze the red fires of his furnace
As on in the blackness he goes.

Oh, the sounds that we hear in the darkness,
The laughter and crying and groans,
The ravings of anger and madness,
The sobbings and pitiful moans!

Also printed in Railroad and Current Mechanics 22, Dec. 1913, p. 67.

Howard W. Odum (Odum-Arthur MS 30, July 10, 1929) found another variant:

Come all you good people if you want to hear
The story of a bad engineer
Who ran a train on the downward road,
And every car held a heavy load.

The agent stood at the station door.
He welcomed the rich. He grabbed at the poor;
And everybody seemed jolly and gay,
As the hell-bound train sped on its way.

Come, my friend, give your heart to Jesus.
Come, my friend, join our happy band.
Come today and follow the Savior.
He will lead you safely to the Promised Land.

Does anyone have, and can transcribe, the lyrics of "Hell Bound Express Train," by Rev. J. M. Gates?