Well, they give him his orders in monroe, virginia
Saying, "pete, you're way behind time.
This ain't 38, but it's old 97
And you've got to be in center on time."

But he turned around to his black greasy fireman
Said, "shovel in a little more coal.
When we cross that white oak mountain
You can watch old 97 roll."

Well, it's a mighty rough road from lakesburg to danville
And a line on a three mile grade
It was on this grade that he lost his airbrakes
And you see what a jump he made

He was a-going down the grade making ninety miles an hour
And his whistle broke out in a scream
It was on that grade that he lost his airbrakes
And you see what a jump he made

Well, ladies, you can all take warning
From this time now and on
Never speak harsh words to your true loving husband
He might leave you and never come home

He was a-going down the grade making ninety miles an hour
And his whistle begin to scream
And we found him in the wreck with his hand on his throttle
And scalded to death by the steam

Well, ladies, you can all take warning
From this time now and on
Never speak harsh words to your true loving husband
He might leave you and never return

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