Please, Mister Conductor (The Lightning Express)

DESCRIPTION: The conductor demands a boy's ticket. He has none. He went to work in the city to pay for his mother's care, but now she is dying. He has no fare, but is going to be with her; he begs the conductor to let him stay. The passengers chip in to pay his fare.
AUTHOR: J. Fred Helf (?) and E. P. Moran
EARLIEST DATE: 1898 (copright)
KEYWORDS: mother disease age separation train help
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 321-325, "Please, Mr. Conductor/The Lightning Express" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 720, "Please, Mister Conductor" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 468-470, "Please, Mister Conductor" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 720A)
High, p. 39, "The Little Boy on a Train" (1 text)
Bronner-Eskin1 27, "Lightning Express" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #7389
Blue Sky Boys, "The Lightning Express" (Bluebird B-8369, Montgomery Ward M-8414, 1940)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Lightning Express" (OKeh 7008, 1924)
Johnny & Albert Crockett, "Lightnin' Express" (Crown 3074, 1930)
Pete Daley's Arkansas Fiddlers, "Lightning Express" (Varsity 5078, n.d.)
Vernon Dalhart, "Lightning Express" (Banner 1594, 1925) (Challenge 165/Challenge 320, 1927) (Champion 15017, 1925) (Victor 19837, 1925)
Byron G. Harlan "Please, Mr. Conductor, Don't Put Me Off The Train" (CYL: Edison 7219, 1903)
Jim Holbert, "The Lightning Express" (AFS 4130 B2, 1940; on LC61)
Frank Hutchison, "Lightning Express" (OKeh 45144, 1927)
Bradley Kincaid, "The Lightning Express" (Melotone 12184, 1931; Vocalion 02683, 1934)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner [Mac & Bob], "The East Bound Train" (Vocalion 5174/Vocalion 5200/Brunswick 169/Brunswick 326, 1928; Supertone S-2032 [as Kentucky Mountain Boys], 1930; rec. 1927)
Gene McNulty, "Lightning Express" (Decca 12202)
George Reneau, "The Lightning Express" (Vocalion 5056/Vocalion 14991, 1925; Silvertone 3045 [as George Hobson], 1924)
Mervin Shiner, "The Lightning Express" (Decca 46272, 1950)
Ernest V. Stoneman "The Lightning Express" (OKeh 40408, 1925)
Arthur Tanner, "The Lightning Express Train" (Puritan 9160, n.d. but prob. c. 1926)
Ernest Thompson, "The Lightning Express" (Columbia 145-D, 1924)
Wesley Tuttle, "The Lightning Express" (Coral 64068, 1950)

cf. "Going for a Pardon" (plot)
The East Bound Train
NOTES [93 words]: The sheet music of this is obscure enough (or illegible enough) that the first author is various listed as "H. Fred Delf" and J. Fred Helf. I've tentatively listed the latter in the "author" field, since it's the form Norm Cohen uses, and he's more authoritative than any of the other sources.
The memory of Delf/Helf and Moran is quite obscure; their copyright was not renewed, and we find the song being re-copyrighted in 1925 by Triangle Music Publishing, with no reference to the original authors; they credited to the universal pseudonym E. V. Body. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: R720

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