The CN Bus (Joan Morrissey) MIDI, video
#2078: YouTube video by NLTreasure
©2012 ~ Used with permission ~


It was a cold winter's night,
not a star was in sight,
As we rolled down the hill to Random West,
On a CNR bus that had caused quite a fuss,
By replacing our Newfoundland Express.

In a seat in the rear sat a man who was here,
To see how long 'twould take to make the dash;
Now, old MacMillian they said,
a promotion would get,
If these buses could save our railway tax.

In a seat just ahead sat a lady in red,
Maggie Hawkins from Upper Gullies Trap;
She weighed 23 stone and the bus gave a groan,
As she stood up and started for the back.

It was Maggie's intent as the floor boards she bent,
To enter the powder room in back;
It was a small two-by-four with a hatch for a door,
Situated beneath the luggage rack.

Now all the crowd gave a roar
as she opened the door,
And old Maggie to force herself she tried;
But alas she got stuck like a Lundrigan truck,
It was plain that she'd never get inside.

She went back to her seat
dripping sweat in the heat,
Saying, oh how I miss the good old train;
And if this thing doesn't park until way after dark,
My poor kidneys will never stand the strain.

Said a man turning pale,
she's been drinking Haig ale,
Give her first aid - this surely is a crime;
But old MacMillian jumped up
in the aisle and did shout,
Keep her rollin', we're making record time!

For an hour they drove till outside Arnolds Cove,
Old Mag stood up and started for the door;
And with his stopwatch in his hand
Gordy MacMillian took his stand,
Told the driver to put her to the floor.

Now with a final last squeak,
Maggie sucked in her cheeks,
And a great burst of fire and of steam,
And a thunderous roar that
shook the valley and the shore,
And the bus blew apart beside a stream.

There were twenty-three maimed
when the rescue squad came,
Not a trace of ol' Maggie could be seen;
Old MacMillian went blind,
one poor man blew his mind,
And the driver woke up in Lamalene.

Well, on the crest of a hill, just outside Clarenville,
Stands a tombstone to mark Mag's last remains;
May her soul ever fly to
that great bathroom in the sky,
For she's the lady that gave us back

####.... Tom Cahill of St John's, NL [1928-2006] ....####
This variant recorded by Joan Morrissey (Joan Morrissey At The Admiral's Keg, trk#4, 1969, Paragon Records, Toronto, ON, distributed by Marathon Music, Inc).

Note: Joan Morrissey spent two years headlining at the Hotel Newfoundland's Admiral's Keg Club.

See more songs by Joan Morrissey.

CNR - Canadian National Railway.
23 stone - 322 lbs; 146 kgs.

A variant was recorded by Dick Nolan (Fisherman's Boy, trk#10, 1972 LP, RCA Records, Toronto, ON, recorded at M.U.N. studios, St John's, and produced by Ben Weatherby); and (More Dick Nolan, trk#7, 2000 Cassette, Heritage Music, Scarborough, ON); and (Pretty Girls Of Newfoundland, trk#14, 2002 CD, Heritage Music, Scarborough, ON); and (The Best Of Dick Nolan, trk#14, 2005 CD, Sony BMG, Toronto, ON).

See more songs by Dick Nolan.


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