This week’s Folk Song Of The Week is The Wreck Of The Old 97. I love this song and it’s fun to play. I’ve gone further up the neck than the first two frets, but I think you can get it.
WRECK OF THE OLD 97
They [G]gave him his orders down at [C]Monroe, Virginia,
Saying, [G]”Steve, you’re way behind [D7]time;
This is [G]not 38, but it’s [C]Old 97,
You must [G]set her into [D7]Spencer on [G]time.”
He turned around, saying to his black, greasy fireman,
“Just heave in a little more coal,
And when we reach that White Oak Mountain,
You just watch Old 97 roll.”
It’s a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville,
And Lima’s on a three-mile grade;
It was on that grade that he lost his air brakes,
You can see what a jump he made.
He was going down grade, doing ninety miles an hour,
When his whistle began to scream;
They found him in the wreck, with his hand on the throttle.
He was scalded to death by the steam.
A message arrived at Washington Station,
And this is what it read:
Those two brave men who pulled Old 97
Are lying in Danville, dead.”
Oh, ladies, you must take warning,
From this time on and learn:
Never speak harsh words to your true loving husband,
He may leave you and never return.