Please, Mister Conductor!


“Please, Mister Conductor!,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 27, 2022,

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Please, Mister Conductor!


One leaf, typewritten on the front side. The document is in excellent physical condition. The document was laminated.


Folk songs -- United States Mothers and sons -- Songs and music Parents - Death - Songs and music Railroad trains -- Songs and music


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University

Date Created



I. G. Greer


The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.








The Lightning Express

The lightning express, from a depot so grand,
Had started out on its way.
Most of the passengers who were on board
Seemed to be happy and gay.
Except a little boy on a seat by himself
Reading a letter he had
Was ashamed to be seen with the tears in his eyes
The knowledge of it made him sad.


Please, Mr. Conductor, don’t put me off your train,
For the very best friend I have in this world
Is waiting for me now in vain.
Expecting to die any moment, she may not last through the
I want to bid Mother goodbye, Sir,
Before God takes her away.

The stern old conductor who came through the train,
Taking tickets from everyone there,
Finally reaching the side of the little boy
Roughly demanded his fare.
I haven’t the money, the little boy said,
But I’ll pay you back someday.
I’ll have to put you off at the station, he said,
But he stopped when he heard the boy say:

Mother was sick when I left home,
And needed a doctor’s care.
I came to your city employment to find,
But I could not find any work there.
A letter from sister this morning arrived.
Mother is dying, it said.
So that is why I am boarding your train,
When I haven’t the money to pay.

A little girl in a seat close by,
Said: Don’t put him off, ‘tis a shame.
Taking his hat a collection she made
And soon paid his way on the train.
I’m obliged to you, Miss, for your kindness.
You’re welcome, I am sure, never fear.
And each time the conductor would come through the train
These words would ring in his ear.

Classification Title

Please, Mister Conductor!

Document Title

The Lightning Express

Scholarly Classification

Randolph, 720

Dimensions - Original

216 mm x 279 mm

Upload Date


File name


Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Paul L. Robertson

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