Red Light

A Song by Denis Kevans

The Enquiry with its solemn tones
Won't hear their cries or hear their moans
Or their faces pale with terror as they flew,
Now grab the brakes I've seen a light,
But many won't get home tonight,
And the older workers said they always knew.

Chorus :
Red light down from Glenbrook,
An electric train is coming down,
The misty mountain morning starts to reel,
Wild birds scream a harsh goodbye,
Eight good people have to die,
Cause the brakes can't hold 600 tonnes of steel.

At first a simple single fuse
Mixed up all the driver's cues,
Then, they couldn't get him on the mobile, mate,
"Did you get him? What's he say?"
"There's a bloody mountain in the way",
Now they're racing down towards their bitter fate.

I can't drive it from my brain,
That they struck a private train,
A private train just idling there in vain,
And its driver said, I'll quote,
(Sticks like fishbones in my throat),
"I had no timetable for the electric train".

A million dollars, hear the news,
For some pollies' cut price booze,
A million bucks for just one little perk,
How could they then refuse
Money for a five buck fuse,
To save the lives of people going to work.


The poet Denis Kevans aka "the Poet Lorikeet" was an enthusiastic artist with regards to Australian railway songs ... he also wrote some himself including the one above as well as the famous "Trains of Treasure." Denis was an important early influence urging the collection of railway song and poetry, understanding the urgency of the project. This online collection owes much to his poetic understanding and prophetic vision.

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