Rick Lang - Johnstown Flood

Gather far and near should you care to hear…
This frightful story that I lived to tell
Henry Clay’s my name and I can rightly claim
I was witness to that dreadful day…when the great flood swept our town away
The mighty South Fork Dam, was in bad need of repair
Five hundred feet above the valley floor
Heavy rains that year had caused a growing fear
The water from the lake would let go…and surely be the death of us all
The 31st of May in 1898, I heard a loud commotion in the street
Men old and young from the top of their lungs
Hollered “run for the hills the dam has broke…dear Lord have mercy on our
I lost my sister and my brother beneath the rubble and the mud
Next to my horse I was discovered… still alive
I’d survived…the Johnstown Flood!
With a thunderous sound the water tumbled down
And swallowed everything in its path
Turned homes and factories into a sea of debris
And those poor helpless souls trapped inside…they were gone in just the wink
of an eye
All through the night, town folk fought for their lives
Some drowned, and some were crushed to death
For some unlucky ones, the worst was yet to come
When that tangled mess caught on fire…a fate no words could describe
When the morning came, there was little that remained
As the search for survivors had begun
Now all that is left in this…valley of death
Are gravestones half buried in the ground…but for the ones they never found