“The Wreck of Number Four”


"Come railroad men and listen to me, A story you will hear, Of a wreck on the line of the old L and E...." The Number Four leaves the track. Engineer John Dailey is killed in the wreck. Listeners are reminded that death is always near

Historical references

  • Dec 31, 1928 - L & N train number four leaves the track near Torrent, Kentucky. 50-year-old engineer John Dailey (correct spelling) dies as he leaps from the cab; he is the only person killed


  • Green Bailey, "The Wreck of Number Four" (Challenge 425 [as by Dick Bell], 1930; recorded 1929)


  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 254-256, "The Wreck of Number Four" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, LSRai254


Alternate titles: “The Wreck of Number Four and the Death of John Daily”
Author: Green Bailey
Earliest date: 1929 (recording, Green Bailey)
Keywords: train wreck death warning