The Wreck of the Southern Pacific
Express Train at Tehachapi Pass.
Tune- "Milwaukee Fire."
It was at early morn on the South Pacific Road,
Near the dangerous puss of Tehachapi,
The express was speeding with her precious load.
While all on board were sleeping peacefully;
Unconscious of the doom which was for them in store,
But dreaming of the loving friends they'd meet,
Who would clasp them in extended arms once more.
And with happy smiles and fond kisses greet.
It was a dark and stormy night, with rain and snow,
The wind was blowing fearful o'er the track,
Which set the cars a swaying to and fro,
While all the clouds above were clothed in black.
As though draped in mourning for the dreadful fate
Of those who calmly slept and had no fears;
Who could not be warned until it was too late,
To save them from those vain and bitter tears.
The train reached the summit of Tehachapi at last,
And changed the engine for the other train,
Which left the cars with no weight to hold them fast,
Therefore they started rolling down the track again;
Then a piercing cry rung out upon the air,
That the cars were rushing madly down the grade;
Then men and women awoke in wild despair,
As the cars leaped in a ravine, there in a pile were laid.
Then a fire broke forth, the cars were in a blaze,
Roasting its victims and sapping up their lives;
Those who escaped, none could their grief assuage.
Men prayed in agony, oh, God, save our wives;
Then a lovely girl arose amidst the fire,
And said: Oh, God, in pity, oh, in pity save,
Let not this wreck be my funeral pyre,
Let me not perish in this burning grave.
This fair young girl was soon to be a bride,
Soon be united with affection's chains
To her betrothed while standing by his side,
But her crisped form is all that now remains.
Then at a window there did a face appear,
Making frantic efforts to get free,
But the roaring flames were drawing very near,
Soon they will reach him, no more that face we'll see.
Thus poor souls perished slowly one by one,
None could get near to soothe them in their pain.
All that humane power could do was done,
Many tried to save them, but 'twas all in vain.
When this sad news went flashing o'er the wires,
To all the friends of dear ones loved and lost,
Who can portray the anguish of husbands, wives and sires,
To know their loved ones perished in that fearful holocaust?