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Child of the Railroad Engineer

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The Child of the Railroad Engineer

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The Child of the Railroad Engineer

A little child on a sickbed lay,
And death was very near,
The parents' pride and the only child
Of a railroad engineer.
     His duty called him from those he loved,
     And the house whose light was dimmed,
     Ah, the tears he shed as "Wife" he said,
     "I will have two lanterns trimmed."

cho: "Just hang a light by my bed tonight,
     And hang it where it can be seen!
     If our baby's dead, just hang the red;
     If she's better, then hang the green!"

In a little house by the railroad side,
A mother with watchful eye
Saw a gleam of hope and a feeble smile
As the train went rushing by;
     Just one short look was his only chance
     To see the light agleam;
     In the midnight air there arose a pray'r
     Thank God! The light was green!

from Ethel Park Richardson's book American Mountain Songs
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III