Norman Blake

Standing on the side track at the south end of town
On a dry hot dusty August day the steam pipe blowin' down
The foreman with his long oil can oiling the old valve gear
Waiting for the fast mail train the semifore to clear.

The engineer in his old I cab, his gold watch in his hand
Looking at the water glass and letting down the sand
Rolling out on the old main line, taking up the slack
Gone today, but so they say, tomorrow he'll be back.

Oh, if I could return
To those boyhood days of mine
And the green light on the southern
Southern railroad line.

Creeping down the rusy rails of the weed-grown branch line
Section houses gray and white by the yard limit sign
The hoggers call the old high ball, no more time to wait
Rollin' down to Birmingham with a ten car local freight.

The whistle screams with a hiss of steam, the headlight gleams clear
The driver's roll and the green and gold getting mighty near
Handing up the orders to the engine crew on time
It's the Alabama Great Southern A.G.S. railroad line.