Missouri State University
Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

The West Plains Explosion

Cat. #0113 (MFH #683) - As sung by Mrs. Sam "Iva" Haslett, West Plains, Missouri on June 11, 1958

VERSE 1
In a little town of West Plains
In old Missouri state
Twas in th month of April
They saw th hand of fate

VERSE 2
Th springtime flowers were blooming
Th world was bright and gay
And no one dreamed the danger
Would come to them that day

VERSE 3
Was there th young folks gathered
One fatal Friday night
And to th dance they wandered
With hearts so gay and light

VERSE 4
And there they spent the evening
Without a thought of fear
For nothing came to warn them
That death was drawing near

VERSE 5
Th dance was nearly over
Th evening nearly past
When from th floor beneath them
There came an awful blast

VERSE 6
Th building all around them
Came tumbling to th ground
And there they fought and struggled
But th hot flames beat them down

VERSE 7
How quick th scene was shifted
From one so gay and light
How hard th brave men struggled
To save their friends that night

VERSE 8
How sad th fears of loved ones
Who came at break of dawn
To see th great diaster
Where forty lives had gone

VERSE 9
We can't explain th reason
These awful things must come
But we should all be ready
To say, "Thy will be done"

VERSE 10
And tho Our hearts are weary
Our burdens hard to bare
We have one consellation
We'll meet them over there