The Engineer's Dying Child Lyrics

by Johnny Cash

A little child on a sickbed lay
And death was very near
He was the pride and the only child
Of a railroad engineer

His duty had called him from those he loved
And seeing that hope was dim
While a tear he shed to his wife, he said
Just have two lanterns trimmed"

Just hang a light when I pass tonight
Hang it where it can be seen
If the baby's dead then show the red
If he's better then show the green

In a little shack by the railroad track
A mother with watchful eyes
Saw a gleam of hope in a tender smile
As the train went rushing by

Just one short look was his only chance?
To see the light a gleam
In the midnight air, there rose a prayer
Thank God the light was green

Just hang a light when I pass tonight
Hang it where it can be seen
If the baby's dead then show the red
If he's better then show the green