The Wreck of Old Number Nine

Carson J. Robison

"The Wreck of the Old Nine" was written by Carson J. Robison, and popularized by Vernon Dalhart in the 1920's. Carson J Robison was one of the earliest radio show singing cowboys. His first radio show was in 1920 for Radio Station WDAF. Carson is mostly remembered for his collaboration with Dalhart but he was very popular in his day and also gave us "Barnacle Bill the Sailor".

Number nine is the most shamelessly sentimental of all the train wreck songs. And I give it to you for I know you'll be true 'til we meet at that golden gate. Goodbye.


On a cold winter night not a star was in sight
And the north wind kept howling down the line,
With his sweetheart so dear stood a brave engineer,
With his orders to pull old Number Nine.

She kissed him goodbye with a tear in her eye,
But the joy in his heart he could not hide,
And the whole world seemed bright when she told him that night,
That tomorrow she'd be his blushing bride.

As the train rolled along and the wheels hummed a song,
And the black smoke came pouring from the stack,
His headlight a-gleam seemed to brighten his dream,
Of tomorrow, he'd be coming back.

As he rounded the hill, his brave heart stood still,
For a headlight was shining in his face.
He whispered a prayer as he threw on the air,
For he knew that would be his final race.

In the wreck he was found lying there on the ground,
And he asked them to raise his weary head;
As his breath slowly went 'twas a message he sent,
To the maiden who thought that she'd be wed.

"There's a little white home that I bought for our own,
Where I knew we'd be happy by and by,
And I leave it to you for I know you'll be true,
Till we meet at that Golden Gate, goodbye."