Flood of Shawneetown (1898)

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Flood of Shawneetown (1887)
Flood of Shawneetown or Broken Hearts and Homes
S ing along with the "Flood of Shawneetown".

O' come on. You're setting alone at your computer reading this. Go ahead. Your singing can't be anywhere as dreadful as the lyrics themselves.

G. B. Fields wrote the words and music to this song, "Flood of Shawneetown or Broken Hearts and Homes." Fields dedicated the music to "G. R. Galloway, who lost a wife and two daughters in the great disaster of April 3rd '98." Previously he had authored "The Tattler," and "Dream of the Forrest Queen," He privately published the music in Fairfield, Ill.

Nearly half a century after this music came out, someone in Saline County borrowed the tune for the Saline County Centennial song in 1947.

In the town of Shawnetown as the evening shades came down,
    On a quiet Sabbath evening cold and gray,
While the people walked the street or in dear communion sweet,
    Sat within their peaceful homes at close of day.
All at once the bells were ringing, with a wild and awful din,
    While the fearful fact breaks over one and all,
That the fateful levees broke pale the lips of those who spoke,
    While the roaring, crashing, awful flood comes in.

On it came with mighty force, spoiling all within its course,
    Wrecking homes and snatching loved ones from their friends,
Where they found a wat'ry grave, 'neath the cold and silent wave,
    To be covered over by the drifting sands,
Tongue nor pen ne'er describe the hopeless anguish and despair,
    Of the poor survivors of that awful flood,
And they'll ne'er forget the day Shawneetown was washed away.
    Till they rest beneath the cold and silent sod.

There were heroes too that day: Franklin Robinson they say,
    With his boat brought many safely to the shore,
While they struggled with the wave he row'd out their life's to save,
    Working bravely 'till the awful flood was o'er,
Father Bikeman saw it coming like a giat mountain high,
    And he knew what danger in his pathwy lay;
But he did his duty well while he boldly rang the bell
    Warning all within the dangerline to fly.

There are broken hearts and homes, there is sorrow, there are groans,
    There is trouble there is anguish and despair,
Where was once all smiles and light there is naught but darkest night,
    Where was once a happy city wrecks appear,
Let us rally to their succor from the city hill and plain,
    Give out sympathy and money to their aid;
Soon calamity may fall on our loved ones, homes and all,
    May be seperated ne'er to meet again.

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