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Songbob Songs within songs (91* d) Lyr Add: THE CORLISS ENGINE (Bob Clayton) 02 Feb 10


I can think of two, one of which I wrote, and the other by Septimus Winner ("Listen to the Mockingbird" and other hits). I was hoping to post the Sep Winner one, called, "The Song of Jokes," but I can't find the lyrics on my computer, so I guess that'll be later.

Here is my song, taken from an actual event (as told in the song).


The Corliss Engine
[Tune: Flying Cloud] *

In eighteen-seventy and six, the U. S. held a fair
To celebrate one hundred years, and half the world was there.
There were halls for science, halls for art, and halls for history,
But the favorite hall among them all was for technology.

The "Hall of Industry" it was, and oh, but it was grand,
With almost every modern kind of gadget in the land.
Machines for home and farming, manufactury and more,
All run by one great engine that stood towering on the floor.

The Corliss Engine it was called, an engine from a dream,
With giant walking beams and wheels, the whole thing run by steam.
A story and a half, at least, as big as all get-out,
The most majestic thing there in that hall, without a doubt.

In ceremony opening day, old U. S. Grant himself
Turned the crank to start it up: "Here's to the country's health!"
And all that summer long the people came to stop and stare
At that one engine making power for all exhibits there.

The country at the time was just embarking on a quest
Of western movement, destiny, and empire manifest.
The Civil War long over, the nation again whole,
And moving out into the world, to find itself a role.

And as the summer rolled along, the time did take its toll,
As Grant's administration was soon numbered in the roll
Of scandal, rumor, sad disgrace, and shameful thievery;
One more public uproar in a roaring century.

As closing day at last came on, the rumor went around
That the man who opened up the show would come to close it down.
A great crowd gathered there to see if Grant would brave disgrace,
And if he'd have the gumption just to dare to show his face.

Instead, at six, a workman came to shut off all the steam.
The Corliss Engine, working still, as if in drowsy dream,
Slowed and stopped and came to rest, and turned the shafts no more,
As a thousand people stood in awe on that exhibit floor.

A hush then fell upon the crowd, and no one spoke a word,
A silence just as reverent as any church has heard.
Then one lone voice began to sing, and others joined along,
Till from a thousand throats there came the notes of this one song:

[Tune: Old 100] *

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above you Heavenly Host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


Copyright (c) 1992, Bob Clayton

I'll look for the Sep Winner one now. Maybe I'll post it quickly, but probably not.

Bob Clayton


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