Sunday, July 20, 2014

In the Baggage Coach Ahead

On a dark and stormy night, as the train rattled on,
 all the passengers had gone to bed,
 Except one young man with a babe in his arms
 who sat there with a bowed-down head.

 The innocent one began crying just then,
 as though its poor heart would break,
One angry man said, "Make that child stop its noise,
 for it's keeping all of us awake,"

 "Put it out," said another, "Don't keep it in here,
We've paid for our berths and want rest."
 But never a word said the man with the child,
As he fondled it close to his breast,

 "Where is its mother, go take it to her,"
this a lady then softly said.
 "I wish I could," was the man's sad reply,
"But she's dead in the coach ahead."

While the train rolled onward
 A husband sat in tears,
 Thinking of the happiness,
 Of just a few short years;

 For baby's face brings pictures
of a cherished hope that's dead,
 But baby's cries can't waken her,
 In the baggage coach ahead.

Gussie L. Davis

This song was written in 1896 by Gussie L. Davis, the first successful Negro composer. Davis was a porter on the train where the incident actually occurred.

For more history of the song

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