Mudcat Café message #2723932 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76910   Message #2723932
Posted By: Joe Offer
15-Sep-09 - 03:28 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Hell-Bound Train
Subject: ADD Version: Hell-Bound Train (Ohrlin)
Since Glenn Ohrlin's book is titled The Hell-Bound Train, it seems only right that we include his version.


A Texas cowboy on a barroom floor
Had drank so much he could hold no more.

He fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream he rode on the Hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
And the headlight was a big brimstone lamp.

The imps for fuel were shoveling bones
And the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled full of lager beer
And the Devil himself was the engineer.

The passengers they were a mixed-up crew,
Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew.

There were rich men in broadcloth and poor in rags,
Handsome girls and wrinkled hags.

With red men, yellow men, black, and white,
All chained together, a fearful sight.

The train rushed on at an awful pace,
The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face.

Faster and faster the engine flew,
And wilder and wilder the country grew.

Brighter and brighter the lightning flashed,
And louder and louder the thunder crashed.

Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the clothes were burned from each shrinking frame.

Then out of the distance there rose a yell:
"Ha, ha," said the Devil, "the next stop is Hell."

Then oh, how the passengers shrieked with pain
And begged the Devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced with glee
And he laughed and mocked at their misery.

"My friends, you have paid for your seats on this road,
The train goes through with a complete load.

"You've bullied the weak, you've cheated the poor,
The starving brother turned from your door.

"You've laid up gold till your purses bust
And given free play to your beastly lusts.

"The laborer always expects his hire,
So I'll land you safe in a lake of fire.

"Your flesh will scorch in the flames that roar,
My imps torment you forevermore."

Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes were wet and his hair stood high.

He prayed as he'd never prayed before
To be saved from Hell's front door.

His prayers and pleadings were not in vain,
For he never rode on the Hell-bound train.


Source: The Hell-Bound Train, by Glenn Ohrlin (1973, 1979), pp. 36-36

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