Crossing the Grand Sierras

Henry Clay Work, 1870


All aboard! All aboard!
The hissing breath of the iron steed
Proclaims his wish to be quickly freed;
And soon as the stroke of the bell we hear
He springs at the touch of his engineer,

With away we glide
O'er prairies wide,
Through verdant vales,
And mountain dales,
To the last great chain,
Which has striv'n in vain
With the Lightning! The Lightning!
The Lightning Palace Train.

Forgetting far Atlantic,
And midway scenes romantic,
We scale the peaks gigantic,
Which guard the Land of Gold;
Her silver rills are leaping,
Her lovely lakes are sleeping
And snow clad granites keeping
Their "watch of years" untold.

We sing a wond'rous story,
No nation sang before!
A Continental Chorus,
That echoes either shore:
We sang it on the summit!
We sing it on the plain!
We've climb'd the Grand Sierras
With the Lightning Palace Train,
With the Lightning, the Lightning,
The Lightning Palace Train.


View the published score.


All aboard! All aboard!
No toil can tire our impatient steed,
So once again we will test his speed!
How quick is the wish of our heart obey'd!
He starts at the turn of the downward grade,

With a gain we glide
By torrent side,
O'er trestl'd deeps,
Through tunnel'd steeps,
While the vict'ries wane
Which they sought to gain
With the Lightning! The Lightning!
The Lightning Palace Train.

'Neath timber'd roofs unending,
From winter snows defending,
Through canyons wild descending
To the City of the Plain:
We leave the scenes terrific,
We pass the fields prolific,
And view the broad Pacific
The Golden gated main.