Thanks for posting those...My original point is getting borne out...I guess it's something about rose-coloured glasses and the lyric power of nostalgia, cause there are way better train songs being written in the past few decades than either of the lyrics posted above.
Gotta say I find the Hank Snow (Ray Griff) one pretty trite--all it is is a right-to-left (on the map) listing of provinces and stereotypical occupations therein, with a romantic sub-plot.
A lot of better songs seem to focus on a particular train and delve into its significance...such as
- Harvest Train by Alex Sinclair
- I Never Did Like That Train and Railroad Man by Murray McLauchlan
- even Orangedale Whistle by Jimmy Rankin
Still, some of my other favourites are more about the relationships between (particular or groups of) people and railroads in general, including
- Cross-Ties On A Railroad by Dennis Brown
- Raised By the Railroad Line(title?)--not sure if its by Dennis Brown or Bill Garrett?
- Texas 1949(?) by Guy Clark--my sole Merican entry here. (Nothin wrong with City of New Orleans of course, but its a bit obvious)
I just got offered a bar gig in Smiths Falls, the railroad junction centre for Eastern Ontario--think I'll dust some of these off.