They give him his orders at monroe, virginia,
sayin', "steve, you're way behind time
this is not 38, but it's old 97
you must put her in spencer on time."
Then he look around and said to his black, greasy fireman
"just shovel on a little more coal
and when we cross that white oak mountain
you can watch old 97 roll."
It's a mighty rough road from lynchburg to danville
in a line on a three-mile grade
it was on that grade that he lost his airbrakes
oh, you see what a jump he made.
He was goin' down grade making 90 miles an hour
when his whistle broke into a scream
he was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle
and was scalded to death by the steam.
Now ladies, you must take warning
from this time on and learn
never speak harsh words to your true love or husband
he may leave you and never return.