THE FFV (ENGINE 143)(learned from Joan Baez album in the 1960s)
Along came the FFV, the swiftest on the line,
Running on the Seville line, just 20 minutes behind,
Running into Seville, headquarters on the line,
Receiving very strict orders from the station just behind.
Georgie's mother came to him, a basket on her arm.
She said, my darling son, be careful how you run.
There's many a man has lost his life by tryin' to make lost time;
But if you run your engine right, you'll get there just on time.
Up the track she darted, into the rock she crashed.
Upside down the engine turned, and Georgie's breast was smashed.
His head lay 'gainst the firebox door, the flames were rollin' high;
I'm proud to be born an engineer, on the Seville road to die.
The doctor said to Georgie, My darlin' boy, be still;
Your life may yet be saved, if it is God's blessed will.
Oh, no, cried George, this will not do, I'd rather die so free.
I want to die with the engine I love, one hundred and forty-three.
The doctor said to Georgie, Your life cannot be saved.
Murdered upon a railway, and laid in a lonesome grave.
His face was covered over with blood, his eyes they could not see.
The very last words poor Georgie said were, Nearer my God, to thee.
(from miriam berg's folksong collection)