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songs about Trains in the UK

GUEST 02 Jan 14 - 06:49 AM
melodeonboy 02 Jan 14 - 06:58 AM
melodeonboy 02 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM
Richard from Liverpool 02 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 14 - 08:40 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 14 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Tony Elphick 02 Jan 14 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 02 Jan 14 - 09:24 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 14 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Andiliqueur 02 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM
Megan L 02 Jan 14 - 11:13 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Jan 14 - 11:24 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 14 - 11:32 AM
bradfordian 02 Jan 14 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 02 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jan 14 - 06:05 PM
Nick 02 Jan 14 - 07:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 14 - 09:03 PM
Effsee 02 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 14 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Erich 03 Jan 14 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,Scabby Douglas 03 Jan 14 - 05:06 AM
Mark Dowding 03 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 03 Jan 14 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 03 Jan 14 - 08:05 AM
Richard from Liverpool 03 Jan 14 - 08:37 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM
Ian Hendrie 03 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM
Ian Hendrie 03 Jan 14 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,henryp 03 Jan 14 - 06:35 PM
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Subject: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 06:49 AM

Some friends were discussing the fact that there are lots of songs about train in the States but few if any in the UK. Can you make any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: melodeonboy
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 06:58 AM

Old Country Train - Bob Kenward (Kent UK)


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: melodeonboy
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM

The Fireman's Song - Pete Coe


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM

- Cosher Bailey had an engine, it was always needing mending...

- Moses of the Mail

and that's all I can think of at the moment, unless you count Poor Paddy Works on the Railway, which doesn't actually refer to trains.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 08:40 AM

Paul Simon: Homeward Bound


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:02 AM

Gentlemen should please refrain:
Riding down from Bangor: (There is at least one N.Wales parody)
Oh Mr Porter:


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Tony Elphick
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:16 AM

Lots by Dave Goulder!


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:24 AM

A whole radio ballad - The Ballad of John Axon by Ewan MacColl
Slow Train by Flanders and Swann
Last Train and Ride by Ralph McTell
Slow burning Companion by Ralph McTell
Journeyman by Jethro Tull


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:50 AM

Lord Belborough's song (From childrens tv show "Chigley"):

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train
And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.

Under bridges, over bridges, to our destination
Puffing through the countryside there's so much to be seen;
Passengers waving as we steam through a station,
Stoke up, fireman, for the signal is at green:

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train
And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.

In the cutting, through the tunnel,
Rushing, clanking, on the track;
Wheezing pistons, smoking funnels,
Turning wheels go clickety-clack:

Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train
And I ride on the footplate, there and back again.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Andiliqueur
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM

In a town the railway left behind they tore up all the track
And it isn't hard to understand why some of us look back
Back to golden age of steam when a boy knew how to dream.......

Just a few lines from a song by Tom Patterson, a Geordie who now lives in Birmingham and writes great songs. I believe there is a CD pending.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM

I see someone's already noted Bob Kenward's "Old Country Train"...a lovely song and well worth wider distribution.

There's Huw Williams' "Travelling By Steam"...recorded by Fairport on "Jewel In The Crown":

Travelling by Steam


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Megan L
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:13 AM

Dave Goulder black 5


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:24 AM

Another Dave Goulder:

Requiem For Steam


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:32 AM

Although only a poem, mention should be made of W.H.Auden's "Night Mail"


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: bradfordian
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:02 PM

Settle to Carlisle Railway - Mike Donald
Not quite train but a cracking song


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM

The last train to Bacup has gone, Stanley Accrington.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 06:05 PM

A freind of mine went to teacher training college in Edinburgh and learned an activity to do with primary school kids - get the class to be the train from Waverley Station to North Berwick. You divide the class up into four groups and get each group to chant the name of one of the stations on the line, each of which has a different metric pattern:

Edinburgh WAVerley ... EDinburgh WAVerley ... EDinburgh WAVerley ... EDinburgh WAVerley ...

PREStonPANS ... PREStonPANS ... PREStonPANS ... PREStonPANS ...

Drem ... Drem ... Drem ... Drem ...

LongNIDDry ... LongNIDDry ... LongNIDDry ... LongNIDDry ...

NORTH BERwick ... NORTH BERwick ... NORTH BERwick ... NORTH BERwick ...


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Nick
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 07:43 PM

The Runaway Train - one of my least favourite songs ever (right up their with the Laughing Policeman and Sparky's Magic Piano)


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:03 PM

Now this one couldn't be much further removed from the American train songs - The Slow Train by Flanders and Swann

And so is this one Are you right there Michael - which isn't set in what's the UK these days, but that hadn't yet been sorted out back in 1902 when Percy French wrote this.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Effsee
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM

Arthur Argo in Aberdeen used to sing a song about "Willie Lee the porter".

Can't quite get the memory banks to bring forth the lyrics...


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:57 PM

There's a mudcat thread about it, with the words - try Lyr Req: Willie Lee: 'I am a railway porter....'

It put me in mind another one Change at Thorpe-le-Soken for Walton-on-the-Naze I heard at the late lamented Walton Folk Festival.

The general colour of train songs from over here tends mostly to be self mockery tinged with nostalgia.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:37 AM

There are at least two LPs:
Dave Goulder: Requiem for Steam Big Ben Records BB 00.04 from 1973
Harry Boardman - Kempion - Jon Raven - Tony Rose: Steam Ballads, Broadside Rec, BRO 121, from 1977

Great Stuff


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Scabby Douglas
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 05:06 AM

A song by a good friend of mine, John McCreadie, who passed away recently. "Penny A Wish" is about travelling by train across the Forth Bridge, and the practice in days gone by, of throwing a penny from the window of the train as it crossed the bridge.

A PENNY A WISH - John McCreadie

When I was wee we went tae Fife every Glesga Fair
Mither packed the hamper. Sent it off two weeks afore
Pittenweem, St Monans, I stayed in them both
But the best part of the holiday. Was crossing ower the Forth.

For they would haud me up tae the windae
And a penny tae me gie
So that I could make a wish
As the penny sailed away
If the penny didny hit the bridge
Wi a clatter then ye knew
It had landed in the water
And yer wish it would come true

There wis a team of divers, at least that's what they tellt me
Collected a' the pennies, for some charity
Whether that wis true or not, I couldny really say
But the best penny I ever spent, I mind it to this day

CHORUS

Noo the station's gone frae Pittenweem and all round Fife's East Neuk
a man called Beeching our railways frae us took
It was farewell tae the Forth Bridge: Hello to the car roof rack
And we waved to you as we crossed the Forth
On your wee sister's back.

Nae mair wid they haud me up tae the windae
And a penny tae me gie
So that I could make a wish
As the penny sailed away
If the penny didny hit the bridge
Wi a clatter then ye knew
It had landed in the water
And yer wish it would come true

One day I'll take my bairns, we will board the train
Takes us ower the Forth Bridge, just as I did as a wean
These days there's nae big broon belt, tae open the windae wi
But I'm sure if we try hard enough
We will find a way

And I'll haud them up tae the windae
And a penny tae them gie
So that they can make a wish
As the penny sails away
If the penny disny hit the bridge
Wi a clatter then we'll ken
That the magic still works tae this day
Like it did when I wis a wean

When they'd haud me up tae the windae
And a penny tae me gie
So that. I could make a wish
As the penny sailed away
If the penny didny hit the bridge
Wi a clatter then ye knew
It had landed in the water
And yer wish it would come true


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 07:02 AM

A few years ago, myself and Chris Harvey were commissioned to write a song for the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust about "The Old Potts" Railway. I was given a load of information about the line and found a potted history on the BBC website from which I wrote the song. Chris added the chorus and the tune and we put it on our CD "The Old Potts Railway and other railway songs"

The "Old Potts" Railway by Mark Dowding and Chris Harvey

In the 1860s the "Old Potts" it was born
But the "Big 5" wouldn't give them room – they treated it with scorn
It had to build its own line and station buildings too
Before it ran a service for the likes of me and you

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

Folk came from miles around to see the trains at Abbey station
They rode up and down the line to view the situation
From mines at Llanymynech down to Shrewsbury it ran
But once the novelty wore away the company's troubles began

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

To get across the countryside, where the landscape was so mean
A viaduct crossed the Severn at a place called Shrawardine
The line it went through flooded land where few folk they did go
Passenger numbers they were small and the trains were very slow

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

The debt collector he came in and seized a train at Foregate
With negotiations been and done they started out so late
He settled in a first class seat so he could mind the train
And went to Llanymynech where they started back again

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

The guard he asked the gentleman if he would change his seat
Into another carriage that was set aside so neat
But when they stopped at Kinnerley, his coach was hauled away
And that was the last of the train the debt collector saw that day

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

The company went from bad to worse the bills they couldn't pay
The line fell into disrepair, the viaducts rotted away
But up came Colonel Stephens, the saviour of the train
And used his money to open the line and the trains ran once again

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

He ran the line with rolling stock he got from near and far
An engine that was called "Gazelle" was sure to be a star
The "Coffee Pot" was the smallest locomotive in the land
And proved to be the biggest draw of Colonel Stephens' band

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

Again the railway failed to pay and ran into decline
But in the 1940s they opened up the line
To shunt munitions in and out of Kinnerley's hidden quarter
But once we'd seen off Hitler, the line sank into deep water

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

And so this little railway line became condemned to die
The tracks and trains and buildings joined the station in the sky
But the railway that refused to die lives on in name today
The ring road going round Shrewsbury is called the "Old Potts Way"

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day

The Old Potts, The Old Potts has gone for good they say
But the Old Potts, the Old Potts will rise again one day


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 07:48 AM

I am a bit surprised that I can find no songs about the Bishop's Castle Railway, which was in a class of its own as regards lack of funds. It was in receivership from day one, and had various run ins withe bailiffs, rails taken up to stop the trains and then relaid in the dead of night etc.
It claimed to be the oldest railway in the world because it had BC written on the coaches!


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:05 AM

The Oxford and Hampton Railway, here performed by the splendid Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer.
Oxford and Hampton Railway
It appears on their latest CD Red House


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:37 AM

Hmm, just remembered, there's Billy Connolly's "Last Train to Glasgow Central" (which features the wonderful words "And on the train goin' hame, I was hidin' in the lavvie when the ticket man came", surely a situation many of us have been in)


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM

Ewan MacColl's "Shuttle & Cage" 1954 collection for the WMA of 'Industrial Fok-Ballads' contains two versions of Poor Paddy Works on the Railway, Moses of the Mail, The Fireman's Not For Me, Cosher Bailey's Engine, The Iron Horse.

~M~


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM

Nigel Parsons mentioned Auden's Night Mail and noted that it's "only a poem" Thanks to the rather wonderful 'Public Service Broadcasting' it has a tune now:

youtube.com/watch?v=WFJPYi3JXw4

There's also Eliza Carthy's Train Song

and suprised that no-one has mentioned Pete Morton's Another Train


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM

'"Slow Train" is a song by the British duo Flanders and Swann, written in 1963.
It laments the loss of British stations and railway lines in that era due to the Beeching cuts, and also the passing of a way of life, with the advent of motorways etc.' Wikipedia

~M~


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM

I have in my possession the following book :

Sounds Like Folk No.2 - The Railways in Song

Published by EDFS Copyright 1973 (It cost me 30p when I bought it!)

Contents :
Cosher Bailey's Engine (Trad)
Queen Victoria's First Railway Journey (Muriel Holland & Jim Parker)
Steam Train (Mike Donald)
The Strap Hanger Brigade (John M Garrett)
Night Express North Bound (Christopher Rowe)
The Iron Horse
Paddy Works On The Railway
George Hudson - The Railway King (Sydney Martin)
The Whitby to Scarborough Line (Christopher Rowe)
The London Underground
The Runaway Engine (Sydney Martin)
The Oxford and Hampton Railway

There is music and notes accompanying each song.


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:36 PM

Giant's Causeway Tram by Colum Sands

That is if you're not going to split hairs regarding trains and trams. They both run on a rail way after all!


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Subject: RE: songs about Trains in the UK
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:35 PM

Here is the driver, Mr. MacIver,
Who drove the train to Glasgow.

The Train to Glasgow
Words by Wilma Horsburgh, music by Cilla Fisher
Performed by The Singing Kettle


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