A little child on a sickbed lay,
And death was very near.
He was the pride and the only child of a railroad engineer.

His duty had called him from those he loved,
And seeing that hope was dim.
While a tear he she'd to his wife he said, "Just have two lanterns trimmed."

[Chorus:]
Just hang a light when I pass tonight.
Hang it where it can be seen.
If the baby's dead then show the red.
If he's better then show the green.

In a little shack,
By the railroad track,

A mother with watchful eyes.
Saw a gleam of hope in a tender smile,
As the train went rushing by,
Just one short look,
Was his only chance?
To see the light a gleam.
In the midnight air their rose a prayer.
Thank god the light was green.

[Chorus:]
Just hang a light when I pass tonight.
Hang it where it can be seen.
If the baby's dead then show the red.
If he's better then show the green.
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The Engineer's Dying Child Lyrics

Johnny Cash – The Engineer's Dying Child Lyrics