American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0126

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American Ballads and Folk Songs
When she hove in sight far up the track,
She was working steam, with her brake-shoes slack.
She hollered once at the whistle-post,
Then she flitted by like a frightened ghost.
He could hear the roar of the big six-wheel,
And her driver's pound on the polished steel,
And the screech of her flanges on the rail,
As she beat it west o'er the desert trail,                                     !
The John got busy and took the risk,                                       !
He climbed aboard and began to frisk,
He reached up high and began to feel,
For the end-door pin—then he cracked the seal.
'Twas a double-decked stock-car filled with sheep—
Old John crawled in and went to sleep.
She whistled twice and high-balled out,
They were off—down the Gila Monster Route.
"The song was found scribbled on the wall of a Kansas City jail where an old hobo, known as ^One-Finger Ellis/ had spent the night, recovering from an overdose of rotgut whisky." George Mil-burn in his Hobo's Hornbook (published by Ives Washburn, New York) quotes the following version of the famous hobo song and gives its source in the above note.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III