American Old Time Song Lyrics: 55 The Story Of The Signal Man
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 55
THE STORY OF THE SIGNAL MAN.
An Episode of Christmas Eve.
Copyright, 1896, by George Goldthorpe And Wm. H. Friday, Jr.
Words and Music by Wm. H. Friday, Jr.
"The station is a quiet one but suits me, sir." he said,
"I once was signal man, you see, and now that job I dread.
You see that box just over there? 'tis where we switch fast trains,
From side tracks to the center rails, it takes good nerve and brains;
For if you're too late at the switch, a second, naught can check,
A terrible collision, which means awful death and wreck!
Ob, sometimes when I'd think of this 'twould drive me nearly wild.
As each night in our little home I'd kiss my wife and child.
One year ago this Christmas Day my dear wife said that she
Would leave our cottage for awhile, I'd take our boy with me;
We sat within the signal box, to him 'twas wonderland,
And When his mother's train went by be kissed his little band.
The day grew late; my boy had thought he'd heard his mother's train;
left the box to listen, sir, then looked for him in vain:
My God! on came the "limited." my son, I cried, is lost.
For I must turn the fast express no matter what the cost:
And then my eyes glanced down the track, I saw with bated breath.
My boy there on the center rails, right in the jaws of death!
Oh, what can save! the local stops: the express on ward flies;
I did my duty, Heaven knows, my boy's the sacrifice!
Another eye had seen him there, a heart that could not swerve,
With courage all undaunted and a hand with steady nerve.
His mother, swift as eagle's flight, to clasp her boy, drew nigh,
She'd left the train And saved him. just us the express dashed by.