Joe Flynn - The Johnstown Flood (1889)

On a balmy day in May, when all nature held full sway,
And the birds sang sweetly in the sky above;
Lovely city lay serene, in a valley deep and green,
Where thousands dwelt with happiness and love.
But soon the scene was changed;
It was like a thing deranged;
A storm came crashing through that quiet town.
How the winds did rave and shriek,
Thunder roared and lighting streaked,
And the rain did come in awful torrents down.

Then a cry of distress, sprang from east to west,
or our whole dear country now is plunged in woe;
There were thousands burned and drowned,
In that city of Johnstown,
All were lost in that great overflow,

Soon a rider, brave and bold; like the Paul Revere, of old;
With his big bay horse a flying like a deer;
With his voice so clear and shrill cried out, Fly up to the hills;
But the people laughed and showed no signs of fear.
Soon the houses piled up high,
Reaching far up to the sky, containing dead and living humans.
Father, Mother, Sister, Brother,
There was no one to avert their dreadful fate.

Then a cry of distress sprang from the east to the west
For our whole dear country now is plunged in woe;
There were thousands burned and drowned,
In that great city of Johnstown,
All were lost in that great overflow,

Then a dreadful cry arose,
Those who heard, said, "blood it froze",
For that towering, sickening heap was now on fire;
As they poured out prayers to heaven,
They were burned as in an oven,
All were lost in that dreadful funeral pyre.

Then a cry of distress sprang from the east to the west
For our whole dear country now is plunged in woe;
There were thousands burned and drowned,
In that great city of Johnstown,
All were lost in that great overflow,