“Bill Mason”


The song opens with chat about Bill Mason, then notes that he was called to "bring (down) the night express." His new wife, seeing vandals destroying the tracks, she brings out a lantern and saves him and his train


This poem somehow came to be associated with Bret Harte, but is not in any of the works written in his lifetime; this seems to be a case of an incorrect attribution that somehow "stuck." - RBW


  • Roy Harvey and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Bill Mason" (Paramount 3079, 1927)
  • Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Bill Mason" (Columbia 15407-D, 1929)


  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 282-287, "Bill Mason" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Rorrer, p. 84, "Bill Mason" (1 text)
  3. Roud #12393
  4. BI, LSRai282


Alternate titles: “Bill Mason's Bride”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: probably 1873 (100 Choice Selections, Volume 6)
Keywords: train rescue sabotage
Found in: US