"The Ballad of Kent Steffie"

Kent Steffie main page | song

Very little is known about "The Ballad of Kent Steffie" or the railroad accident it describes. The words appeared in a history of Grayson County published in the 1970s, and they follow closely the conventions of other railroad songs. In fact, the lyrics fit precisely in meter with the Carter Family's railroad song "Georgie and the FFV."

Judging from the lyrics, Steffie's train lost its brakes and jumped the tracks. Photos of the accident are dated September 10, 1912, and one indicates that Steffie was crushed beneath the engine. At that time many timbering operations in the Virginia mountains used trains to haul out logs, and Steffie's train may well have run on a logging line. It is unknown if "The Ballad of Kent Steffie" ever went into oral tradition.

Kent Steffie main page | song

Deathly Lyrics:
Songs of Virginia Tragedies

Introduction

Audio Credits

Allens

Breeding Mill

Caty Sage

Derby

Dewey Lee

Flood

Freeda Bolt

Great Kanawha

Kent Steffie

Mollie Tynes

Old 97

Poor Goins

Roanoke Riot

Rye Cove

Talt Hall

Vance Song

Wreck of the 1256