“The Fatal Run”


"Frankie's mother came to him, with his dinner under her arm." She warns her boy of all the crews killed making up for lost time. The lad says he has to take his dead father's place as an engineer. He dies on Dead Man's Curve, and the mother mourns again


Another composed song with no evidence that it has gone into tradition. Cohen notes that some lines (notably "There's many a poor man has lost his life, making up for lost time, If you will run your engine right, you'll never be behind time") are directly derived from "The Wreck on the C & O" [Laws G3]. - RBW

Cross references


  • Cliff Carlisle, "The Fatal Run" (Champion 45162=Decca 5398, 1931)


  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 181-182, "The Fatal Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #14012
  3. BI, LSRai181


Author: Cliff Carlisle
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, Cliff Carlisle)