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THE ANCIENT MYTH OF
CASEY JONES

THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST

Casey Jones – American Folktale

Many of us probably still remembering singing the Ballad of Casey Jones in elementary school, however, not too many us know the folktale that brought this song to light.

Casey Jones was the heroic railroad engineer of the Cannonball. He was known to have the train arrive on time. Nothing would stop Casey Jones from his schedule. He would slowly blow the whistle as the train would start and then increase the sound until it was so loud that is sounded as if a banshee was coming up the tracks just before dying off completely. Everyone knew when they heard this whistle that Casey was coming up the track.

Casey brought his Cannonball into Memphis exactly on time on April 29, 1900. However, as he was leaving the station for the day, he learned that another engineer had become ill and could not make his run for the day. Casey volunteered for the run. As he pulled out of the station at 11 pm, the train was behind its schedule a full hour and thirty-five minutes. Casey however, was resolute on meeting the destination on time, so he highballed it out of Memphis. Highball is a term used by the railroad, which just means to go very fast and leave the risks behind to make up for lost time.

When Casey had made up most of the lost time around 4 am, he was close by Vaughin, Mississippi. He rounded a corner and then noticed a stalled freight train on the track. He was still at top speed and ordered his fireman to jump from the train. Casey with one hand on the brake and the other on the whistle chord hit the stalled train and died.


Casey Jones mythology.

 The myth of Casey Jones.

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