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Origins: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: 'Blue Eyes' and 'The Prisoners Song' (7)
Songs recorded by Vernon Dalhart (20)
Lyr Req: Johnny Long the Engineer (Vernon Dalhart) (8)
Lyr Req: The Unknown Soldier's Grave (V Dalhart) (11)
Lyr Req: Wreck of the Royal Palm (Vernon Dalhart) (5)


Mike@folklore.bc.ca 09 May 99 - 11:15 AM
Mudjack 09 May 99 - 02:41 PM
Mudjack 09 May 99 - 05:44 PM
Frank Maher 09 May 99 - 10:35 PM
Arkie 10 May 99 - 12:46 AM
Frank Maher 10 May 99 - 09:33 AM
Frank Maher 10 May 99 - 09:34 AM
arkie 10 May 99 - 02:51 PM
bill@selbynet .co.uk 07 Sep 99 - 03:44 PM
Don_Deese@telus.net 18 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM
alison 18 Nov 99 - 09:09 PM
Mr Happy 11 Aug 03 - 04:16 AM
Mr Happy 11 Aug 03 - 05:08 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 03 - 05:50 AM
ranger1 01 Mar 04 - 06:29 PM
Rasener 02 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 04 - 11:09 AM
TheBigPinkLad 02 Mar 04 - 06:10 PM
ranger1 02 Mar 04 - 06:11 PM
Rasener 03 Mar 04 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,nosey old lady 12 Apr 09 - 10:06 AM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Sep 09 - 08:44 PM
goatfell 06 Sep 09 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Sid Price 27 Apr 12 - 07:59 PM
GUEST 27 Apr 12 - 08:23 PM
GUEST 30 Sep 12 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,999 30 Sep 12 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,threelegsoman 01 Oct 12 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,henryp 02 Oct 12 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,henryp 02 Oct 12 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Dick Huey, Dobois, Pa. 23 May 15 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Dr Who fan (early series) 25 Aug 16 - 07:04 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 16 - 11:13 AM
Snuffy 26 Oct 16 - 11:58 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 16 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Guest, 12-stringer 26 Oct 16 - 01:58 PM
Mr Happy 27 Oct 16 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: Mike@folklore.bc.ca
Date: 09 May 99 - 11:15 AM

Hi Folks, I'm still looking for the words of the Vernon Delhart song "The Runaway Train"


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Subject: RE: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: Mudjack
Date: 09 May 99 - 02:41 PM

Is this the same "Runaway Train" by John Stewart that was covered by Joan Baez?
I'm worried 'bout you, I'm worried 'bout me..etc
If thats the one, I can help.
Mudjack


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RUNAWAY TRAIN (John Stewart)
From: Mudjack
Date: 09 May 99 - 05:44 PM

Mike,
I hope this is the song you're after, also covered by Rosanne Cash.
Mudjack


RUNAWAY TRAIN
By John Stewart

I'm worried about you, and I'm worried about me
The curves around midnight aren’t easy to see
The flashing red warnings unseen in the rain
This thing has turned into a runaway train

Long distance phone calls, there’s a voice on the line
Electrical miles that soften the time
And dynamite too, it is hooked to a wire
So are the rails of American Flyer

And the blind boys and gamblers, they invented the blues
We'll pay up in blood when this marker comes due
To try and get off now, it's about as insane
As those who wave lanterns at the runaway train
And this all has turned into a runaway train

Steel rails and heart lines, they're always in twos
And I have been here before, yeah, and now it's with you

I'm worried about you and I'm worried about me
We're lighting the fuses and we're counting to three
What are the choices for the ones who remain?
The sign of the cross or a runaway train
This all has turned into a runaway train

It all has turned into a runaway train


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Subject: RE: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: Frank Maher
Date: 09 May 99 - 10:35 PM

Hi Mike, I have That Song somewhere in My Collection... I'm having a bit of Trouble finding It.... When I do,I'll send It along to You....


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Subject: RE: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: Arkie
Date: 10 May 99 - 12:46 AM

I think the Runaway Train on the Dalhart recording was written by Carson Robison, and I think I have a copy of it, but the book is at work. Will check tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: Frank Maher
Date: 10 May 99 - 09:33 AM

Hi again Mike, Here are the Words,taken as they are,on the Record Notice That the Word Hell is left out..... Bad Words were not allowed on Recordings in Those Days !!!!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RUNAWAY TRAIN (Vernon Dalhart)
From: Frank Maher
Date: 10 May 99 - 09:34 AM

THE RUNAWAY TRAIN
Written by Robert E. Massey & Carson Robinson
As recorded by Vernon Dalhart, 1925

'Twas in the year of '89,
On that old Chicago line,
When the winter wind was blowing shrill,
The rails were froze, the wheels were cold,
And then the air brakes wouldn't hold,
And Number 9 came roaring down the hill.

Oh, the runaway train came down the track and she blew.
The runaway train came down the track and she blew.
The runaway train came down the track.
The whistle wide and the throttle back
And she blew-ew, blew, blew, blew.

The engineer said the train must halt and she blew.
The engineer said the train must halt and she blew, she blew.
The engineer said the train must halt.
He said it was all the fireman's fault
And she blew-ew, blew, blew, blew.

Oh, the fireman said he rang the bell and she blew.
The fireman said he rang the bell and she blew.
The fireman said he rang the bell,
The engineer said ya did like ----,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

Oh, the porter got an awful fright and she blew, she blew.
The porter got an awful fright and she blew, she blew.
The porter got an awful fright.
He got so scared that he turned white,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

Oh, a drummer sat in the parlor car and she blew.
A drummer sat in the parlor car and she blew.
A drummer sat in the parlor car,
And he nearly swallered a fat cigar,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

Oh, the runaway train went over the hill and she blew.
The runaway train went over the hill and she blew.
The runaway train went over the hill,
And the last we heard, she was goin' still,
And she blew-ew blew, blew, blew.


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Subject: RE: The Runaway Train - words wanted
From: arkie
Date: 10 May 99 - 02:51 PM

The words posted by Frank were the same as the ones I had. I;ll quit looking.


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Subject: ADD: Runaway Train
From: bill@selbynet .co.uk
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 03:44 PM

exkuze the speling
the bits i remember were

the runaway train came down the track and she blew
the runaway train came down the track and she blew
the runaway train came down the track her whistle wide and her throttle back

the conductor said there,ll be a wreck and she blew
the conductor said there,ll be a wreck and she blew
the conductor said there,ll be a wreck the driver said
there will like heck and she blew blew blew blew blew

the fireman said he rang the bell and she blew
the fireman said he rang the bell and she blew
the fireman said he rang the bell the engineer said you did like hell and she blew blew blew blew blew


the runaway train came down the hill and she blew
the runaway train came down the hill and she blew
the runaway train came down the hill and the last iheard she was going still and she blew blew blew blew blew



thats all i can remember i hope it will jog your memorey

bill cundall (johannfurkoff)


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Subject: Lyrics for The Runaway Train
From: Don_Deese@telus.net
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM

I'm hoping the find the lyrics for a children's song (probably) named "The Runaway Train". The melody and the song structure are the same as for "The Little Red Train" which is posted in the Mudcat collection of songs. The version of this tune called "The Runaway Train" was the theme song for a BBC children's radio series from the 1950's, hosted by Jack Train. Any help with this would be much appreciated. Don


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Subject: RE: Lyrics for The Runaway Train
From: alison
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:09 PM

the runaway train came down the track and she blew...

is that the one?

I think we had a thread on it before... I'll try to find it.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 04:16 AM

another verse:

A donkey was standin in the way & she blew
A donkey was standin in the way & she blew
A donkey was standin in the way
And all they found was just its bray
And she blew,blew,blew,blew,blew

anyone got any more?


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 05:08 AM

another i remembered:

The driver said they' red be a wreck and she blew
The driver said they'red be a wreck and she blew
The driver said they'red be a wreck and he felt the chills run up his neck
And she blew,blew,blew,blew,blew


any more?


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 05:50 AM

'The Runaway Train' (Vernon Dalhart) [audio] is at The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites (Go to "Real Country Page 17").


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: ranger1
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:29 PM

Hallelujah!!!! I've finally found them! My grampa used to sing this song to me when I was a little tyke and I never had any luck finding anyone who'd even heard of the song, much less finding the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: Rasener
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM

I have got this by Vernon Dalhart on a Double CD called Hello Children Everywhere (the definitive collection of Cildrens favourites as presented By Uncle Mac (Derek mcCullock). My children who are 8 and 12 love all the songs on it. Play it when we are going on holiday as it keeps them entertained singing there heads off.
Would you like copy if that is allowed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train...
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 11:09 AM

Believe it or not, Dan Rather once sang the chorus of this song when he was a guest on "the Tonight Show"!


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train... (added)
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:10 PM

Michael Holiday sang the UK version. Topped himself in the early 60s.


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train... (added)
From: ranger1
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:11 PM

Villan, I'd love a copy! My grampa died in 1982, so I've been looking a long time. Thanks.
ranger1


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Subject: RE: Words STILL wanted: The Runaway Train... (added)
From: Rasener
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 04:42 AM

PM on its way Ranger1


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,nosey old lady
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 10:06 AM

Michael Holiday had a hit with (The runaway train)in the 50s or 60s, don't know who sang it in USA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 08:44 PM

Just saw this tune used as background during an episode of the BBC show "Scrapheap Challenge"...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: goatfell
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 08:48 AM

song was recorded by Veron Dalhart during the forties in America


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,Sid Price
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 07:59 PM

My Dad sang a few lines of an old version of the song to us back in the 1950's. He learned it from an old 78 RPM record when he was a kid in the 1920's. I'd like to find that version.
One of the lines went:
The fireman tried to shovel the coal and she blew, she blew.
The fireman tried to shovel the coal and she blew, she blew.
The fireman tried to shovel the coal,
He opened the door and fell in the hole,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 08:23 PM

Sid, check the lyrics that Frank Maher posted above, and Dale posted a source for the recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 07:15 AM

I'm looking for a song called the runaway train that was based on a train in Kirkcudbright in 1963 I think it was, has a man called bob patterson in it. Can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 09:42 AM

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27579

Check that thread at


Subject: RE: Edale Rambler Folk Train
From: Nynia
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 12:15 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,threelegsoman
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 07:37 AM

I uploaded my version of this song only a couple of months ago and along with my the rest of the band "The Cronk Illiam Scratchers" (one year old now) we performed it at Andreas Church Hall in the north of the Isle of Man last month.
My upload is just me on my own, so is not as full and amusing a sound as the band produced.

The Runaway Train


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 06:14 AM

The runaway train in Scotland was the subject of Pinwherry Dip written and sung by Dave Goulder. There's an audioclip here;
http://www.davegoulder.co.uk/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=4


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 12:42 PM

Picture if you will a wayside station in a dip between two vicious gradients, in fact it is Pinwherry, on the G&SW route to Stranraer.

Now to get out of Pinwherry, most locomen took a run down the bank, and then went hell for leather up the other side. This was a risky business, especially with loose coupled goods trains, and if a driver was not careful, a snatch could develop, with the attendent breaking of a coupling. Well, one night it happened on the last goods of the night, and half way out of the dip, half the train broke away, and rolled down the bank, through Pinwherry station, and back up the other side. Then came to a stand and back the way they had come, through the station, and back up the other bank. Stopped and ran backwards again. This process continued until the momentum was exhausted and the wagons came to a stand in Pinwherry station.

Sleeping at the station was a permanent-way inspector, whose laconic comment was that this was the busiest country station he'd ever stayed at, with a goods train every ten minutes for half the night.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1474


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: GUEST,Dick Huey, Dobois, Pa.
Date: 23 May 15 - 10:36 PM

The runaway train

T'was in the year of '89 on that old Great Western line,
When the winter wind was blowin' shrill,
The rails were froze, the wheels were cold, then the air brakes wouldn't hold,
And Number 9 came roaring down the hill oh!
The runaway train came down the track and she blew,
The runaway train came down the track and she blew,
The runaway train came down the track, her whistle wide and her throttle back,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

The engineer said the train must halt and she blew,
The engineer said the train must halt and she blew,
The engineer said the train must halt -- he said it was all the fireman's fault,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

The fireman said he rang the bell and she blew,
The fireman said he rang the bell and she blew,
The fireman said he rang the bell -- the engineer said "You did like hell"
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

The porter got an awful fright and she blew,
The porter got an awful fright and she blew,
The porter got an awful fright -- he got so scared he near turned white,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

A donkey was standing in the way and she blew,
A donkey was standing in the way and she blew,
A donkey was standing in the way and all they found was just his bray,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

The conductor said there'd be a wreck and she blew,
The conductor said there'd be a wreck and she blew,
The conductor said there'd be a wreck and he felt the chills run up his neck,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
The runaway train went over the hill and the last we heard she was going still,
And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)
From: GUEST,Dr Who fan (early series)
Date: 25 Aug 16 - 07:04 AM

Jon Pertwee sang 'The Runaway Train' on a children's record I have. He and Jessie Matthews alternate on the record and Enid Heard does the final song on each side. Yes, that's Jon Pertwee, second Dr. Who. I knew him from my album long before I was old enough to watch Dr. Who and didn't make the connection back to the singer on my record for a while, once I did start watching.

In the verse about the fireman claiming he rang his bell, he sings:
- The engineer said, "You did like heck!"
As I got older, I realised it was a sanitised version for children and what the word would be but I didn't know about the recording restrictions someone mentioned - that's interesting.

The album is called 'Children's Favourites' and has a picture of an orangey glove puppet on the album cover.

Other songs he sings are 'A Froggy Went A-Courting' and that one about a fox that went to town and stole a chicken, honestly can't get it into my head at the moment... ah! got a bit of it - 'John, John! The grey goose is gone! The fox is on the town-o, town-o. John, John! The grey goose is gone! The fox is on the town-o.' He does a good farmer's wife! He's great on all of them, actually.

Jessie sings 'Ugly Duckling' among others I can't remember, just now.

Actually, just google the following line and you'll get hits that you can follow to see what else is on the album. I have a lot of records and I'm not sure which batch my record is with, at the moment.
- Jon Pertwee Jessie Matthews children's favourites

Definitely a record I don't intend to part with and where I learned and loved the train song from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 11:13 AM

The Runaway Train

I'm uncertain of the significance of the drummer mentioned in V6.

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 11:58 AM

Drummer explained


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 12:00 PM

GUEST,threelegsoman,

Thanks for your link, I'd not realised that the intro had a tune having only previously heard it delivered monologue style.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)
From: GUEST,Guest, 12-stringer
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 01:58 PM

The song in this thread is credited to Carson J Robison (1889-1957). Dalhart first recorded this in March 1925, with Robison in his combo, and cut it at least 10 times thereafter, though only once after his acrimonious breakup with Robison in 1928.

But cf the May 1922 issue, p 46, of "Captain Billy's Whiz-Bang," a popular low-brow magazine of the day, which contains "The Old Time Runaway Train, Slowed Down by Nation Jones."

A runaway train came down the track
And she flew, she flew
A runaway train came down the track
And she flew, she flew
A runaway train came down the track
She hit a freight and broke her back
And she flew, flew, flew, flew
The son of a gun she flew.

Subsequent verses are given in shorter form (the reader is directed to "Continue the motions as above")

The fireman he was shoveling coal
And the coal ran into the fiery bowl

The porter's name was Ebony Jones
He was a high-faluter with a pair of bones

The switchman he was turning the switch
The heavy old freight ran into a ditch

So a predecessor, perhaps anonymous, lies beneath the Robison copyright. But the popularity of the Dalhart recording seems to have driven it out of circulation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Runaway Train (Vernon Dalhart)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Oct 16 - 03:42 PM

Snuffy,

Thanks so much for enlightenment!

*********

Guest, 12-stringer,

I appreciate your input & extra verses!


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