THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS


| January/February 1962



3531 Tea Street N.W., Washington 7, D.C.

It was the night before Christmas and the Four Twenty-Six
Had come to the pit in a terrible fix.
Her flues were all leaking, her grates would not shake,
And something was radically wrong with the brake.

The hostler was cussin' I mean he said 'Pshaw'
The machinist was handing out big bundles of jaw.
The moon on the bosom of old mother earth
Made each fellow long to be home by his hearth.

When out in the office, there arose such a clatter
I hurried right out to see what was the matter.
When what to ray wondering eyes should appear
But our little old foreman, receiver at ear.

But the way he was roaring through that telephone
Would make old Niagara sound like a faint moan.
'No you can't have her', were the first words I heard
Then from over the wire came a long-drawn-out word.

Then back through the phone went a sneer and a hiss
And words that to me sounded something like this:
If my two-year-old kid did not know more than you
Or for that matter, all of your pen-pushin' crew,