The Wreck of the Old '97

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Johnny Cash

John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003), was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although he is primarily remembered as a country music icon, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll—especially early in his career—as well as blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal led to Cash being inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Gospel Music Hall of Fame. more »


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Well they gave him his orders at Monroe Virginia sayin' Steve you're way behind time 
This is not 38 this is old 97 you must put her into Spencer on time 
Then he turned around and said to his black greasy fireman shovel on a little more coal 
And when we cross that White Oak Mountain watch old 97 roll 
[ guitar ] 
But it's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville 
With a line on a three mile grade 
It was on that grade that he lost his air brakes see what a jump he made 
He was goin' down the grade makin' 90 miles an hour his whistle broke into a scream 
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle 
A scalded to death by the steam 
[ dobro ] 
Then the telegram come to Washington station and this is how it read 
Oh that brave engineer that run old 97 he's a layin' in old Danville dead 
So now all you ladies you better take a warnin' from this time on and learn 
Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband 
He may leave you and never return

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