Wreck of the Old 97
I had an appointment at the Mayo Clinic
To have me an MRI
It was on a cold cold day in November
Under a clear blue sky.
I got in my car heading for Rochester
South on 52
With a full tank of gas and the radio playing
And the tires were all brand-new.
I was goin down the road making ninety miles an hour
Listening to the radio
It was Bill Monroe playing bluegrass breakdowns
And he did not play them slow.
I was near Zumbrota, following a semi
When a deer jumped into the gap
I hit the brakes and I swerved toward the shoulder
And my coffee fell into my lap.
Well in my shock I threw the car into Park
And I heard the transmission scream
And the crankshaft fell out on the highway
It was all like a real bad dream.
It blew the front tires and skidded in the ditch
For I could no longer steer
In the back seat I was carrying an anvil
And it flew right past my ear
And the airbag opened as my car flipped over
Ten times it cartwheeled
Through the trees with the engine smoking
And it came to rest in a field.
I leaped from the wreck and I dove for cover
And I heard that gas tank blow
The flames leaped up in a giant conflagration
To the music of Bill Monroe.
The radio played as the flames leaped higher
You could hear the fiddle cry
It played In the Pines and Will The Circle Be Unbroken
By and by Lord by and by.
The radio played as the car burned to ashes
And the tires and frame were gone
You can wreck your car until it’s a ruin
But radio goes on and on.
The deer escaped and the semi kept trucking
And they took that M.R.I.
A picture of my brain and it was all in order
And responding to stimuli.
Ever since that day I have been more careful
To give thanks to the Lord
And I don’t carry anvils in the back seat
Or coffee on my dashboard.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).