The Wreck of the 99
This is a two-step, not a polka. I learnt it from "I Will If I Can" by John Carty, and it was also recorded by James Morrison.
It seems to be based on the tune of "The Wreck Of The Old’97".
Well, they gave him his orders in Monroe, Virgina
Said:"Steve, you’re way behind time,
"This is not 38, this is Ol’97,
"Put her into Spencer on time."
Then he turned around and said to his black, greasy fireman,
"Shovel on a little more coal.
And when we reach that White Oak mountain,
"Watch Ol’97 roll."
And then a telegran come from Washington station,
This is what it read:
"Oh that brave engineer that run ‘97,
"Is lyin’ in Danville dead."
"Cos he was going down a grade making 90 miles an hour,
The whistle broke into a scream.
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle,
Scalded to death by steam."
Oh, now all you ladies better take a warning,
From this time on and learn.
Never speak harsh to your true-lovin’ husband,
He may leave you and never return.