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Thursday, October 5, 2006

Six Degrees of Webb v. McGowin

Aab_35 A discussion the other day on the AALS Contracts Listserv about Webb v. McGowin prompted me to recall that one of Joe Webb's co-workers at the W.T. Smith Lumber Co. in Chapman, Alabama (left), was a log train driver named Alonzo Huble "Lon" Wiliams.  Lon and his wife Lillybelle had a son, Hiram, who later became better known under his stage name, Hank Williams.

Williams wrote a song about his father and the W.T. Smith lumber operation.  Here are the lyrics:

             The Old Log Train
    (music and lyrics by Hank Williams)

If you will listen, a song I will sing
About my daddy who ran a log train
Way down in the southland in old Ala-bam’
We lived in a place that they call Chapman town.

And late in the evening when the sun was low,
Way off in the distance you could hear the train blow.
The boys would come runnin’ and mamma would sing,
"Get the supper on the table, here comes the log train."

Every morning at the break of day,
He’d grab his lunch bucket and be on his way.
In winter or summer, sunshine or rain,
Every mornin’ he’d run that old log train.

A sweatin’ and swearin’ all day long,
Shoutin’ "Git-up there, oxen, keep movin’ along!
Load ’er up boys, cause it looks like rain,
I’ve got get rollin’ this old log train."

This story happened a long time ago.
The log train is silent; God called daddy to go.
But when I get to heaven to always remain
I’ll listen for the whistle of the old log train.

[Frank Snyder]

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