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Stewie Lyr Req/ADD: Black Smoke Train (Simpson/Thompson) (5) Lyr Add: BLACK SMOKE TRAIN ^^ 28 Mar 00


BLACK SMOKE TRAIN
(Tommy Thompson and Bland Simpson)

The tracks were just a mile away
When I was four and five years old
And I could hear the whistle blow
See the black smoke rise and roll
Rise and roll, black as coal
And rollin' 'cross the rooftops of our town

In the summertime, my dad
Just home from work would take my hand
Walk with me that peaceful mile
To where the two of us would stand
Hand in hand, boy and man
We watched that old evening train go down

Oh, it's bye bye black smoke passenger train
God speed your last long ride
Pass over the mountain and cross the plain
And blow your whistle on the Great Divide

A cloud of birds would curl above
The old abandoned factory
Pour itself like lazy smoke
Backwards down the tall red stack
My daddy said, 'Watch the birds go to bed
In the chimney by the green mountainside

The sunlight made our shadows long
And hurt my eyes when I would gaze
Way down the tracks where I could see
That train from some old scary place
Mean and old, grey and cold
And so far away it made me cry

Oh, bye bye black smoke passenger train
God speed your last long ride
Pass over the mountain and cross the plain
And blow your whistle on the Great Divide

Where does it come from, where does it go?
You must catch your train and ride, boy,
If you want to know

The engine passed at six o'clock
And so we stood there man and boy
Until the iron horse run by steam,
And steel and smoke and whistle noise
Split the air, laid us bare
Then struck us dumb as railroad ties

We watched the coaches clatter by
With smiling porters pouring tea
For diners on the dining car
Who never once looked out at me
Fancy women, squeezing lemons
And blind to West Virginia rollin' by

Oh, bye bye black smoke passenger train
God speed your last long ride
Pass over the mountain and cross the plain
And blow your whistle on the Great Divide

Words and music: Tommy Thompson and Bland Simpson Southern Melody Pub. Co. BMI
Source: Red Clay Ramblers 'Rambler' Sugar Hill SH-CD-3798
PS.

What a marvellous song this is. Tommy Thompson wrote (or co-wrote) many good songs and was a magnificent singer and banjo picker. It is a great loss that his health prevents him from contributing further.

There is only one phrase that I am not totally certain of: 'Mean and old' in the line 'Mean and old, grey and cold'. I listened to it dozens of times: at first I heard 'mean and old', then I had doubts and thought it was some kind of train acronym such as 'BNO' - but definitely not C&O - then I was not sure again and so went with my first instincts.

--Stewie. ^^


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