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DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)

DigiTrad:
ALL THE TIMES YOU'RE GONE
ALL USED UP
CANNONBALL BLUES
DADDY, WHAT'S A TRAIN?
DUMP THE BOSSES OFF YOUR BACK (2)
ENOLA GAY
GREEN ROLLING HILLS
HOOD RIVER ROLL ON
I BELIEVE IF I LIVED MY LIFE AGAIN
I REMEMBER LOVING YOU
I SAW MY COUNTRY'S FLAG GO DOWN
KID'S LIBERATION SONG
OLD DOLORES
ORPHAN TRAIN
PHOEBE SNOW
QUEEN OF THE RAILS
ROCK SALT AND NAILS
ROCKABYE BABY
STARLIGHT ON THE RAILS
THE DADDY SONG
THE EPILOGUE
THE GOODNIGHT-LOVING TRAIL
THE TELLING TAKES ME HOME
TOLONO
TOUCH ME
WEEPY


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Joe Offer 14 Feb 21 - 07:36 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 21 - 07:38 PM
Jeri 14 Feb 21 - 07:44 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 21 - 08:30 PM
GerryM 14 Feb 21 - 08:34 PM
GerryM 14 Feb 21 - 08:38 PM
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Subject: DTCorrection: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 07:36 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

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I think this song needs some study.


Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics:

PHOEBE SNOW (DT Lyrics)
(Utah Phillips)

I saw her name on the side of a train
Somewhere a long time ago;
I don't know who she was, but I gave my love
To someone called Phoebe Snow
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
Well I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

I climbed on board through a wide open door
Just as she started to roll
And I rode so light through the warm summer night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
Well I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

(SPOKEN)
I've spent many a night around the fire
In a circle of stone silent men
I've heard the sagebrush whistle and pop
And the coffee boil up in the can.
And the bottoms were filled with the cool river wind;
The treetops chasin' the moon
And I knew without asking to take my guitar
And play up some slow, gentle tune.
Well, I played up a face I used to know,
And the song was the sound of the name
And I knew without looking that every man there
Was each of them feeling the same
Then I played up so hands, so pale and small,
With a touch just as light as the rain
And I knew without looking that every man there
Was each of them feeling the same
Then I played up the booze and the holes in the shoes
Of a man whose life is a cage
And all the things done to make a man run:
The hard luck, the failures of age.
Then I stopped with a crash and we looked into the ash,
Helpless with longing and rage.
Now a travelling life might seem allright;
A life without worry or care;
You're always up and you're always out;
You're always going somewhere
But I tell you, my friend, it's not where you are,
But your reason for being there.

Then I awoke as the day broke
And I gazed out over the plains
Thinking as how I'm better off now
From being in love with a train
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
Well I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

Copyright Strike Music
@train @rambling
filename[ PHOEBESN
TUNE FILE: PHOEBESN
CLICK TO PLAY
DS

Popup Midi Player





PHOEBE SNOW (corrections in italics)
(Utah Phillips)

I saw her name on the side of the train
Somewhere a long time ago;
I don't know who she was, but I gave my love
To someone called Phoebe Snow

CHORUS
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
But I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

I climbed on board through a wide open door
Just as she started to roll
And I rode so light through the warm summer night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

CHORUS
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
But I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

    [SPOKEN]
    I've spent many a night around the fire
    In a circle of stone silent men
    I've heard the sagebrush whistle and pop
    And the coffee boil up in the can.

    And the bottoms were filled with the cool river wind;
    The treetops chasin' the moon
    And I knew without asking to take my guitar
    And play up some slow, gentle tune.

    Well, I played up a face I used to know,
    And the song was the sound of the name
    And I knew without looking that every man there
    Was each of them feeling the same

    Then I played up some hands, so pale and small,
    With a touch just as light as the rain
    And I knew without looking that every man there
    Was each of them feeling the same

    Then I played up the booze and the holes in the shoes
    Of a man whose life is a cage
    And all the things done to make a man run:
    The hard luck, the failures of age.
    Then I stopped with a crash and we looked into the ash,
    Helpless with longing and rage.

    Now a travelling life might seem all right;
    A life without worry or care;
    You're always up and you're always out;
    You're always going somewhere
    But I tell you, my friend, it's not where you are,
    But your reason for being there.

[Sung]
Then I awoke as the day broke
And I gazed out over the plains
Thinking as how I'm better off now
From being in love with a train

CHORUS
Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
But I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.

Corrections in italics, taken from the U. Utah Phillips songbook, Starlight on the Rails And other songs (Dream Garden Press, Salt Lake City, ©2011, by Duncan Phillips. (page 123-126)

Recording from the Good Though album (1974):
Recording from the Starlight on the Rails album (2014):


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 07:38 PM

Wikipedia says:
    Phoebe Snow was a fictional character created by Earnest Elmo Calkins to promote the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The advertising campaign was one of the first to present a fictional character based on a live model.


Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebe_Snow_(train)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 07:44 PM

Phoebe Snow - Legend of Lackawanna Railroad's Phoebe Snow lives on in the Citizen's Voice.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 08:30 PM

Here's the introduction to the song from the U. Utah Phillips songbook, Starlight on the Rails And other songs (Dream Garden Press, Salt Lake City, ©2011, by Duncan Phillips. (page 123)
    PHOEBE SNOW
    I was standing outside an empty yard in Chicago on my way to Bloomington, lllinois. I saw one of those beautiful Gulf, Mobile and Ohio freight trains, made up and ready to head south, with the red and maroon GMO boxcars with the gold stripe around them. A train like that is irresistible to me. I figured it was probably going to St. Louis to be rehumped and some of the cars sent west, because it was hauling a lot of Burlington, Denver Rio Grande, Santa Fe, and Union Pacific.
    The car I got on was an old Phoebe Snow boxcar from the Erie Lackawanna in Pennsylvania. At the time the name Phoebe Snow conjured up the face and form of anybody I'd ever been in love with, so I made up this song for want of anything better to do. l crossed the state and sang the song first in the big jungle camp in Danville. It wasn't until I got back to Chicago that Richard Marko, a Chicago performer, told me who Phoebe Snow really was.
    The Erie Lackawanna was the first line to use anthracite coal, which meant that their trains were soot-free—you could ride their passenger runs without getting a lot of soot in your clothing. To advertise that fact the railroad used a cartoon character, a beautiful woman all dressed in white, with long white gloves, a white hat, and a white purse. She would be talking to somebody across the aisle about how clean it was to ride the Route of the Anthracite. Her name was Phoebe Snow.
    She was famous all over the country for many years. About 1963 the Erie Lackawanna discontinued their passenger runs and took Phoebe Snow off. But you can still find some of those old boxcars if you look around a yard.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: GerryM
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 08:34 PM

A few small corrections to the DT lyrics:

Chorus, next-to-last line, "Well" should be "But".

Spoken part, 3rd line should start with "And".

Spoken part, "Then I played up so hands", "so" should be "some".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Phoebe Snow (Utah Phillips)
From: GerryM
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 08:38 PM

Utah Phillips talks about the song here.


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