On a cold day and dark cloudy ev'nin'
Just before the close of day
There came Harry Lyle and Dillard
And with Anderson they rode away.
From Clifton Forge they started
And their spirits were runnin' high
And they stopped at Iron Gate and waited
'Til Old Number 9 went by.
On the main line once more they started
Down the James River cold, dark and drear
And they gave no thought to the danger
Or the death that was waiting so near.
They were gay and they joked with each other
As they sped on their way side by side
And the old engine rocked as she travelled
Thru the night on that last fatal ride.
In an instant the story was ended
On here side in that cold river bed
With poor Harry Lyle in the cabin
With a deep, fatal wound in his head.
Railroad men you should all take a warnin'
From the fate that befell this young man
Don't forget that the step is a short one
From this earth to that sweet, promised land.