Lightning Express

Cat. #0852 (MFH #355) - As sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on August 27, 1969

Th lightn'in express from a station so grand
Had just started out on its way
All th passengers who were on board
Seemed t' be happy an' gay
Except one little boy, set on th seat by 'imself
Was read'n a letter he had
You could tell very plain, by th tears in his eyes
That th contents was makin him sad
Th grumbl'in ole conductor
Started take tickets from everyone there
Reach'in th back of this poor boy
He roughly commanded his care,
I have no ticket, th poor boy said
But I'll pay you back some day,
I'll put you off th next station
But he stopped n' heerd th boy say,

O please, Mr. Conductor
Don't put me off from your train
The only friend I have in this world
Is wait'in for me in pain
Expect'n to die any moment
An' may not live thru th day
I want'a bid Mother goodbye, Sir,
Before God takes 'er away

My Mother was ailing when I left home
She needed a doctor's care
I come to your city fer employment
But could not find work t' do there
The letter arrived from sister, today
Come home, Mother dy'in, it say
That's th reason I'm want'in to ride
But I haven't no money to pay
A little girl set on a seat close by,
Says, put th boy off it's a shame
Taken his hat n' collection she made
Paid th boys way on th train
I'm so ever much obliged, for your kindness to me
Your welcome, never fear
Every time th conductor'd pass 'round
Those words would ring in his y'ear