Railway Tales
by T.W. Connor Performed by Billy Bennett I stood on the bridge at midnight At the railway station way back, And what should I see on the tram-lines But a train on the railway track 'Twas the Scotch Express from Ireland, And as it came roaring along I noticed the wheels were all going round So I knew there was something wrong. The driver I'd known from a cowboy, His name-it was Sandy McThistle; As clever a steeplechase jockey As ever blew down a whistle. He'd driven that engine for 99 years, His photo hung in the 'Red Lion' The passengers always gave him a cheer And shouted out, 'Any old iron?' He'd always enjoyed the best of bad health, Except p'raps a leak in his oiler But now he'd got sparks flying out of his funnel And steam coming out of his boiler. He never saw any danger He never saw the Red Light Except when his wife went to the pictures With the lodger on Saturday night. On came the train with a rattle and roar At a pace that was really a crime; Seven hours late, but doing his best To get there before closing time. 'The stoker was all agitated, too, His poker kept wobbling about, But he still kept on with his duty Raking the clinkers out. The train was packed tight with Scots, that night All treading on each other's feet And riding 1st class, with 3rd class tickets With a few more under the seat. Little they knew that the driver Had been on night-duty all day, And there was certain to be a collision If another train got in his way And tho' most of those folks knew Sandy, There were people in that train Who, once they got cut to pieces Would never speak to him again. So now was the time for action, Before the worst came to the worst, Should I stand on the track and push the train back? But something said, 'Safety first!' So I rushed down the steep embankment No thought of my own affairs I rushed down the steep embankment 'Cause I couldn't rush down the stairs. And diving my hand in my pocket I'd only been paid that day I placed my last ha'penny on the line And the train only ten miles away The hours seemed like minutes as I stood and watched That ha'penny there on the track. Would the driver see it and stop the train Or would he turn round and go back ? It was all over soon and I fell in a swoon, For the brave driver not only saw it He was down in a flash after the cash, And the stoker was fighting him for it But he soon got a shock in his rolling stock And his language was too bad to mention. His boiler nigh bust, when he found in disgust That the ha'penny he'd got was a 'French un!' In trying to pass it on slot-machines He worked himself into a panic, Broke three of his fingers, and then got a month For trying to bribe the mechanic. He tried it on blind men and beggars galore But had all his troubles in vain Threw it into the river, but divers went down And brought it up to him again. This morning at three, he was seen out at sea The Exchange he soon hopes to arrange it, For a Scot's not the one that's going to be done So he's swimming to France to change it!
The end