Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


North American Locomotive-industry songs

GUEST,Bob Leslie 14 Nov 17 - 11:06 PM
Joe Offer 15 Nov 17 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,pauperback 15 Nov 17 - 04:39 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 17 - 10:24 AM
Joe Offer 15 Nov 17 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 15 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Bob Leslie 15 Nov 17 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,henryp 15 Nov 17 - 04:31 PM
Joe Offer 15 Nov 17 - 06:36 PM
Roger the Skiffler 16 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST,Bob Leslie
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 11:06 PM

Does anybody know of any recordings of American/Canadian songs about building locomotives - or the decline of the industry? There are thousands about railroads but I can't find any about the people who actually built the trains.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 02:37 AM

Interesting question, Bob. I looked in Norm Cohen's Song Steel Rail the bible of railroad songs, and didn't find anything. The Southern Pacific shops near me in Sacramento were substantial, but I don't know of any songs about railroad shop work.
Last year, I visited the shops of the Southern Railway (now a great museum) in Spencer, North Carolina - no evidence of songs there, either. I've been to lots of shops that are now museums - but alas, I found no songs. Maybe locomotive work isn't conducive to singing.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 04:39 AM

Not quite what your looking for but inspirational none the less.


YouTube- Baldwin Locomotive Works


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 10:24 AM

Yes, it's odd. It seems there are lots of worksongs relating to agriculture, roadbuilding, railroad laying, sailing etc. but very few to actual ships and even fewer to trains.

I have a show called Transatlantic Conversations on Celtic Music Radio here in Glasgow and I do a lot of comparison stuff, eg how Child ballads turned out across the water, modern folky stuff that's given different treatment (e.g. First Girl I Loved, Jackson Browne version), similar themes for songs.

I've got a song about the decline of the locomotive industry in Springburn, Glasgow, and was looking for an American song that fills the same niche - but, given the paucity of material, I'm willing to take anything that refers to the industry whether in growth or decline.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 01:44 PM

The Baldwin Locomotive Works, located in the Philadelphia area, was the largest manufacturer of steam locomotives. It went out of business in 1972, after having produced 70,000 locomotives.

Another large manufacturer was the Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio - in the western part of Ohio.

The other major American locomotive manufacturer was the American Locomotive Company (ALCo), located in Schenectady, New York.

Here's a page that gives more information on U.S. locomotive manufacturers:

It was my understanding from the California State Railroad Museum that the Southern Pacific Sacramento Locomotive Shops had manufactured a good number of locomotives, but I couldn't find any specific information about that online. On the Donner Pass Route that goes past my home, the SP used Cab Forward locomotives that were built by Baldwin. The Cab forward design got train crews through tunnels and snow sheds before they were asphyxiated by exhaust from the smokestacks located at the rear of the locomotives.

Here's a very comprehensive list of locomotive builders worldwide:


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM

I doubt very much if you'll find any songs from heavy engineering factory community environs at all. Steel, Cars, Locomotives, Ships, Motorbikes - anything of that nature - really don't have the cultures to encourage such things at all. Certainly none of the men who worked in steam locomotive works whom I have known have ever talked about such things, They were indeed musicians, but tended towards classical music and brass band traditions - probably to get away from their working environments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST,Bob Leslie
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 03:02 PM

You're probably right - the noise would have drowned out any singing. However, I'm surprised there are no nostalgia numbers for a vastly diminished industry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 04:31 PM

Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway - Horwich Railway Mechanics Institute Band

In 1912 George Hughes, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the L and Y Railway, decided to form a first class brass band. The band?s crowning achievement was winning the Crystal Palace competition on 23rd September 1922.

Unfortunately, due to the recession and subsequent lay-off of its members, Horwich RMI Band collapsed as a concert band in 1931. In the intervening years, they were something of a legend.

But no songs, I'm afraid.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 06:36 PM

I was born in Detroit, and raised in Racine and Milwaukee, Wisconsin - all places of heavy industry, and I don't remember any work songs from any of those industries. There were union songs, but not work songs. As some said above, the work was noisy and not conducive to singing. All of these places had lots of taverns (really wonderful taverns, by the way), but the songs in the taverns were about drinking and sports - not about work. I'm sure the same was true of the locomotive shops.

Looking at the Websites about locomotive shops, I noticed that most of them had at least one crane made by the Bucyrus-Erie Corporation of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin (film). Bucyrus-Erie makes draglines and all sorts of mining equipment, but it was the cranes that have always fascinated me. The cranes ride on rails high above a factory floor, and can go sideways on rails perched on the rails, covering every inch of the factory. This rails-on-rails design is very simple, but it does the trick. I used to drive by the Bucyrus-Erie plant twice a week, and it was a thrill to look inside - especially at night. The specific name for this type of crane is overhead crane or "bridge crane." The ones I've seen were almost always made by Bucyrus-Erie. They are very versatile, and can lift amazing amounts of weight - even entire locomotives. Bucyrus-Erie also builds gantry cranes, which straddle the area where they are working and often ride on rails on the ground.

I looked through a number of books of work songs - nothing about heavy industry.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: North American Locomotive-industry songs
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 16 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM

Interesting thread. Like Joe, I have a copy of Long Steel Rail and realise that a lot of the Skiffle, Folk, Blues & Americana repertoire is about railways: Building them, driving them, crashing them, robbing them, but I don't know of any about building the rolling stock.
In the UK (and possibly US) there are many groups of enthusiasts rebuilding and running steam trains as a hobby, I wonder if they have any songs to share?
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 12 December 7:44 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.