Trusty Lariat, The (The Cowboy Fireman)
DESCRIPTION: An ex-cowboy, now a railway fireman, sees a child on the track. He throws his lariat around a pole, ties the end to the smokestack. The train is jerked off the track, crushing him. "He killed two hundred passengers/But, thank God, he saved that child"
AUTHOR: Attributed to Harry "Mac" McClintock
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (recording, Harry "Mac" McClintock)
LONG DESCRIPTION: A former cowboy is working as a railway fireman because the pay is better. He sees a child on the track ahead. With great presence of mind he throws his trusty lariat around a pole, then fastens the other end to the smokestack. The train is jerked off the track and crashes, crushing the fireman. He is deeply mourned: "He killed two hundred passengers/But, thank God, he saved that child"
KEYWORDS: train rescue death railroading work crash disaster wreck humorous talltale children cowboy
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 29, #4 (1983), p, 33, "The Trusty Lariat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Radio Mac [pseud. for Harry McClintock], "The Trusty Lariat" (Victor V-40234, 1930)
NOTES: Unless I miss my guess, McClintock was parodying the 1874 song "Saved From Death" by George William Hersee and J. W. Bischoff. - PJS
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