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The Dying Mine Brakeman, song lyrics

Song: The Dying Mine Brakeman
Lyrics: Orville J. Jenks(1)(2)

Year: 1915(1)(2)
Genre: Ballad
Country: USA

See that brave and trembling motorman,
Said his age was twenty-one.
See him stepping from his motor
Crying, "Lord, what have I done?"

"Have I killed my brave young coupler,
Is it right that he is dying?
Well, I tried to stop the motor,
But I could not stop in time."
This song was originally posted on
See the car wheels running o'er him,
See them bend his weary head;
See his sister standing o'er him
Crying "Brother, are you dead?"

(Stanza 4 with alternate score above)
"Yes, sister, I am dying
Soon I'll reach a better shore,
Soon I'll gain a home in Heaven
Where this coupling will be no more.
This song was originally posted on
"Tell my brother in the heading -
These few words I'll send to him;
Never, never venture coupling,
If he does, his life will end.

"Tell my father - he's a weighboss,
All he weighs to weigh it fair,
They will have true scales up yonder
At that meeting in the air.

"Tell my mother I've gone to glory,
Not to greive for me no more,
Just to meet me over yonder
On that bright and golden shore."


1 - From Coal Dust on the Fiddle, by George Gershon Korson, 1942, p.246-247 and p. 447-448.

2 - Orville J. Jenks was born in Jackson, Ohio, USA, 1897. In 1907 the family moved to Big Sandy, in West Verginia where his father was a coal miner. In 1909 at twelve Jenks, began work in the coal mine. He composed this in 1915 after witnessing a mine accident.