The Monkey and the Engineer

This ditty comes to us from Jessie "Lone Cat" Fuller - the amazing one man band and also author of 'San Francisco Bay Blues.' Jessie was amazing. He played simultaneously 12-String Guitar, harmonica, the high-hat and the futdella. The futdella was a big base instrument of Jessie's invention that he played with his feet.

"The Monkey and the Engineer" is also the title of a children's book illustrated by David Opie. I was happy to see he used the words as-is and gave credit to Jessie as the book author.

This song was also a favorite of Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Jerry and Jessie have left us now, so let's sing the song in their memory.

Lyrics: 

Once upon a time there was an engineer
Drove a locomotive both far and near
Accompanied by a monkey who would sit on a stool
Watchin' everything the engineer would move

One day the engineer wanted a bite to eat
Left the monkey sittin' on the driver's seat
The monkey pulled the throttle, the locomotive jumped the gun
And did ninety miles an hour down the main line run

Big locomotive, right on time
Big locomotive, comin' down the line
Big locomotive, number ninety-nine
Left the engineer with a worried mind

The engineer called up the dispatcher on the phone
Tell him all about his locomotive was gone
Get on the wire, switch operator to write
'Cause the monkey's got the main line sewn up tight

Switch operator got the message in time
Said, "There's a north bound limit on the same main line
Open up the switch, I'm gonna let him through the hole
'Cause the monkey's got the locomotive under control!"

Big locomotive, right on time
Big locomotive, comin' down the line
Big locomotive, number ninety-nine
Left the engineer with a worried mind
Left the engineer with a worried mind

Instruments: