That Awful Hump

If you are looking for an office,
    If you are prepared to die;
If you want a job of switching
    Where you almost have to fly,
If you think there is no Creator,
    And in eternity you would like to jump,
Make your will and come to Silver Grove
    And go switching on the Hump.

Cars are pushed on top of the pimple,
    And you're told to hit the deck.
There's a crash and all is over;
    And you die beneath the wreck.
So if life to you is a misery,
   Don't delay, but come to Silver Grove
As a switchman on the Hump.

With the speed of unknown swiftness
    The flight will take your breath
As you ride them through the valley
    Into the very doors of death
So if it's money you have plenty,
    Your wife, she gets the lump,
When they get you put together
    In the office at the bottom of the Hump.

So “buddie,” take my word of warning,
    Stay away from those awful Humps.
But any way give the brakes a thorough trial,
    Just before you leave the Hump.
|And when you see the white lights
    Changing quickly into green
Then you know you must slide them
    Or maybe you'll never more be seen.


It's credited to “A Good Old Jack” of Covington, Ky., and appeared in the Journal of the Switchman's Union in 1913.  If you need help on what a “hump yard” is, there's a handy picture here.