“Casey Jones”

Some versions of the song’s lyrics

 

Stanzas said to have been sung by Wallis Sanders and printed in John and Alan Lomax’s American Ballads and Songs (1934)

On a Sunday mornin’ it begins to rain,
’Round the curve spied a passenger train,
Under the cab lay po’ Casey Jones,
He’s a good engineer, but he’s dead an’ gone,
Dead an’ gone, dead an’ gone,
Kase he’s been on the cholly so long.

Casey Jones was a good engineer,
Tol’ his firreman not to have no fear,
All I want’s a lil water an’ coal,
Peep out de cab an’ see de drivers roll,
Oh, see de drivers roll, see de drivers roll,
Peep out de cab an’ see de drivers roll.

On a Sunday mornin’ it begins to rain,
’Round de curve come a passenger train
Tol’ his fireman he’d better jump,
Kase dose two locomotives is boun’ to bump,
[Boun’ to bump, boun’ to bump,
Kase dose two locomotives is boun’ 


Sheet music version, copyright 1909
(Siebert and Newton version, the most popular)

Come, all you rounders, if you want to hear
A story ’bout a brave engineer
Casey Jones was the rounder’s name
On a six-eight wheeler, boys, he won his fame.
The caller called Casey at a half past four,
Kissed his wife at the station door,
Mounted to the cabin with his orders in his hand
And he took his farewell trip to the promised land:

Casey Jones, mounted to the cabin,
Casey Jones, with his orders in his hand
Casey Jones, mounted to the cabin,
And he took his farewell trip to the promised land.

“Put in your water and shovel in your coal,
Put your head out the window, watch them drivers roll,
I’ll run her till she leaves the rail
’Cause I’m eight hours late with the western mail.”
He looked at his watch and his watch was slow,
He looked at the water and the water was low,
He turned to the fireman and then he said,
“We’re goin’ to reach Frisco but we’ll all be dead:”

Casey Jones, goin’ to reach Frisco,
Casey Jones, but we’ll all be dead,
Casey Jones, goin’ to reach Frisco,
“We’re goin’ to reach Frisco, but we’ll all be dead.”

Casey pulled up that Reno Hill,
He tooted for the crossing with an awful shrill,
The switchman knew the engine’s moan
That the man at the throttle was Casey Jones.
He pulled up within two miles of the place
Number Four stared him right in the face,
He turned to the fireman, said, “Boy, you better jump,
’Cause there’s two locomotives that’s a-goin’ to bump:”

Casey Jones, two locomotives,
Casey Jones, that’s a-goin’ to bump,
Casey Jones, two locomotives,
“There’s two locomotives that’s a-goin’ to bump.”

Casey said just before he died,
“There’s two more roads that I’d like to ride.”
The fireman said what could they be?
“The Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe.”
Mrs. Casey sat in her bed a-sighin’,
Just received a message that Casey was dyin’.
Said, “Go to bed, children and hush your cryin’,
’Cause you got another papa on the Salt Lake Line:”

Mrs. Casey Jones, got another papa,
Mrs. Casey Jones, on that Salt Lake Line,
Mrs. Casey Jones, got another papa,
“And you’ve got another papa on the Salt Lake Line.”


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