Casey Jones

Southwest Region

As the United States grew and expanded across the continent, railroads were built.  There are many ballads about trains.  The Ballad of Casey Jones is perhaps the most famous. Versions of this ballad have been sung throughout the country.  We do know, however, that these songs were based on the an engineer named John Luther Jones who called himself Casey to distinguish himself from other engineers with the same name.  His skill as an engineer earned him respect throughout the countryside.  He became a symbol of freedom and power.


1.  Come all you rounders if you want to hear 
     A story about a brave Engineer.
     Casey Jones was the Rounders name
     On a six eight wheeler, boys, he won his fame.
     The caller called Casey at a half past four.
     He kissed his wife at the station door.
     He mounted to the cabin with his orders in his hand
     And he took his farewell trip to that promised land.

Refrain:          Casey Jones!  Mounted to the cabin 
                        Casey Jones with his orders in his hand.
                        Casey Jones mounted to the cabin
                        And he took his farewell trip to that promised land.

2.  Put in your water and shovel in your coal
     Put your head out the window watch them drivers roll
     I’ll run her till she leaves the rail
     Cause I’m eight hours late with that western mail.
     He looked at his watch and his watch was slow.
     He looked at the water and the water was low.
     He turned to the Fireman and he said
     We’re going to reach Frisco but we’ll all be dead.

Refrain:          Casey Jones!  Going to reach Frisco
                        Casey Jones but we’ll all be dead
                        Casey Jones going to reach Frisco
                        We’re going to reach Frisco but we’ll all be dead.

3.  Casey pulled up that Reno hill
     He tooted for the crossing with an awful shrill
     The switchman knew by the engine’s moan
     That the man at the throttle was Casey Jones
     He pulled up within two miles of the place
     Number four stared him right in the face.
     He turned to the Fireman said 
     “Boy, you’d better jump
     ’Cause there’s two locomotives that’s a-going to bump.”

Refrain:          Casey Jones!  Two locomotives
                        Casey Jones that’s a –going to bump
                        Casey Jones two locomotives
                        There’s two locomotives that’s a-going to bump.

4.  Casey said just before he died,
     “There’s two more roads that I’d like to ride.”
     Fireman said, “What could that be?”
     “The Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe.
     Mrs. Jones sat on her bed a sighing
     Just received a message that Casey was dying
     Said to go bed children and hush your crying
     Cause you got another papa on the
Salt Lake Line.

Refrain:          Casey Jones!  Got another papa
                        Mrs. Casey Jones on that Salt
Lake Line.
Casey Jones got another papa
                        And you’ve got another papa on that
Salt Lake Line.

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Lyrics Sheet Finale File MIDI File Casey Jones

With thanks to Sharon Ogorzalek
 Created: July 2005, Last Updated: 07/28/10