Crash at Crush
The Last Texas Troubadour Brian Burns
Crash at Crush - The Event Unfolding|
Photo Courtesy: The Texas Collection,
composer Scott Joplin commemorated the Crash at Crush with "The Great Crush Collision."
It wasn't one of his most memorable tunes and it was left out of the soundtrack
for The Sting. Fortunately, though, contemporary composer, singer and Last
Texas Troubadour Brian Burns, was inspired enough by the event to record his
song about the collision in 2001. |
Mr. Burns unique specialty is blending
Texas history and music. Playing to schools (where he says the students inspire
him as much as he inspires them), events and venues, he leaves behind enthusiastic
audiences and a rapidly growing following.
The following lyrics are
provided by permission of Mr. Burns:
The Crash At Crush
Brian Burns - © 2001 - Brian Burns Music (BMI)
the year of 1896, when the Katy railroad was king,
and the fruits of farm
and industry were carried by steel and steam,
the town of Crush was christened
for a day, and folks came from far and wide
to gather there in the sweltering
heat and watch two trains collide.
Two locomotives, breathing steam,
sat face-to-face on the track,
then slowly their wheels began to turn as the
engineers throttled them back.
Both climbed a grade leaving two miles between,
on the hills they drew to a hush,
and forty-thousand people waited down below
to witness the crash at Crush.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, wheels
a-rumblin' on the railroad track,
once they go they can't turn back, once
they go they can't turn back.
He locked the lever back to the second
notch just after the signal came,
he stayed on board for sixteen exhausts,
and then he jumped off of the train.
The young engineer watched her roar down
the hill and a chill ran through his soul,
for he knew that neither man nor
God above could stop what would now unfold.
The engines met in a
thunderous crash and climbed each other toward the sky,
the impact rattled
the earth for miles around, and the twisted wreckage did fly.
In a moment
more the boilers exploded, and the steam blocked out the sun,
some lost their
lives while others lie bleeding, and the rest of them could only run
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, wheels a-rumblin' on the railroad track,
once they go they can't turn back, once they go they can't turn back.
In a cotton field near Waco, Texas between two peaceful hills
reminds us to hold respect for the power of the beasts we build,
and you and
I in our lifetimes will never get to feel such a rush
as the people who saw
and lived to tell of the awesome crash at Crush.
clickety-clack, wheels a-rumblin' on the railroad track,
once they go they
can't turn back, once they go they can't turn back.
more information, including scheduled appearances of Mr. Burns, please visit his
March 28, 2004