Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Henry K Sawyer

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Henry K Sawyer

Henry K Sawyer

It was on last Sunday morning of June the eighth day
When Henry K. Sawyer from home went away
When Henry K. Sawyer, a man of renown
Took a seat on the tender to ride to Oldtown.

'Twas down near Stillwater they ran off the track
The wood on the tender struck him in the back
The engine capsized and sad to relate
Which placed this poor man in a horrible state.

The weight of the engine confin-ed him down
While steam and hot water gave him his death wound
In this situation thirty minutes he lay
Till at length they released him by digging away.

And when they survived him, brought tears to their eyes
His shrieks met the air, his poor groans met the skies
He cries, "God have mercy and suffer my life
And suffer me once more to see my dear wife."

A car then was taken from the rear of the train
And on this same car, the poor sufferer was lain
Six men took the car and they ran it for their life
And he did once more work and converse with his wife.

They ran it six miles in three-fourths of an hour
Until they were released by the strength of horsepower
But when they arrived at the depot they saw
His poor distressed wife standing in agony.

There was many there collected to see his sad face
Which pain would have relieved but it was then too late
He was taken from the car, carried into a room
And in a short time the poor man met his doom.

This happened at seven, he expired at noon
In the morning no one thought of his dying so soon
He turned to his wife, saying, "Jane, I must die."
With a calm resignation, he bade her goodbye.

'Twas twelve years or better, he had worked on this track
He never was known once a duty to lack
Now think of his widow and on her distress
And make her a present and God will you bless.

DT #757
Laws G5
Incident happened on June 8, 1848 near Bangor, Maine.
Sawyer worked for Bangor and Piscataquis Canal & Railroad Co.
From Flanders, Ballard, Brown, and Barry, New Green Mountain Songster
collected from Orlon Merrill.
Printed in newspapers in 1932 and 1933.
SOF
oct96
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