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Train Songs

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THE WRECK OF THE VIRGINIAN NUMBER 3


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Jim Carroll 09 Sep 19 - 03:26 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 19 - 03:26 AM
Rob Naylor 13 Apr 17 - 04:14 AM
Rob Naylor 13 Apr 17 - 04:08 AM
Rob Naylor 13 Apr 17 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,henryp 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,henryp 12 Apr 17 - 07:36 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Apr 17 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,GUEST, guest rt 10 Oct 15 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,guest rt 10 Oct 15 - 01:00 PM
AnneMC 24 Jan 12 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,Guest rich 23 Jan 12 - 05:27 PM
olddude 13 Nov 11 - 09:05 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 11 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 16 Feb 11 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 16 Feb 11 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 16 Feb 11 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,kiwi_bob 16 Feb 11 - 03:50 AM
PHJim 24 Jan 11 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Zoe Bremer 24 Jan 11 - 08:57 AM
guitarman95 23 Jan 11 - 03:55 PM
Ian Fyvie 23 Jan 11 - 12:28 PM
ChrisJBrady 17 Jan 11 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Chris B. 17 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Chris B. 17 Jan 11 - 11:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 03:26 AM

One of the best train songs I know
Jim Carroll

The West Clare Railway
Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan, Inagh, Recorded 1978
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Come listen unto me awhile I won’t detain you long.
I’ll sing you a few verses of a very comic song.
It’s all about the West Clare train that goes back to Loop Head,
And when that you were landed there you’ll wish that you were dead.

This is the way it jogs along a mile in every hour.
The only things ‘tis fit for is to hide you from a shower.
I own it is a holy show, ‘twould break your very heart,
I hope to God, they’ll pawn it soon and get an old bread cart

There are excursions every Sunday as you may plainly see
From the famous Ennis station to the cliffs of sweet Kilkee.
But sure you’d rather walk it than go in this cursed train,
For no matter how fine the day may be, ‘twill surely draw the rain.

It then jogs off up to Ruan and the first thing there you’ll see
Branded on a placard there is Liptons famous teas.
To take in some passengers she sometimes gives a call,
But anytime it stops there sure it knocks Moloney’s wall.

It then jogs on to Willbrook, and there twill stop also,
To take in a noted passenger boy, the name of Padrigín Crowe.
Sullivan gives orders, with his new railway hat.
And his face all spotted over just like a pox-marked cat.

We went one Sunday to Lahinch the weather it was fine.
And Sullivan gave orders he’d be back at half-past nine.
But when returning home that night, I’m sure he must be blind,
He never saw the station so he left us all behind.

We packed some new spuds in Miltown, and likewise some fresh beef.
When passing Lahinch station he was snoring fast asleep.
I’m sure they disagreed with him, they made the tummy swell.
For when passing Willbrook station he cried, “This is the Golf Hotel.”

He’ll soon be out in pension and for him we’ll get the news,
To drive around the station like a celebratory railway fool.
We’ll also write beneath his mouth, drop a penny in the slot.
And in thousands they will come to see this railway hotel pot.

Now to conclude I’ll finish and end this wretched call
I hope to god they’ll pawn it soon and not be wasting coal.
Or else they will repair it or get an old bread cart instead.
And I’ll also say we’ll rue the day that we went back to Loop Head.

The West Clare Railway opened on July 2nd in 1887. It was a steam driven rail service between Ennis and Kilrush and the journey took about 3 hours. It was a very important service to the people who lived along its route. Charles Stewart Parnell was invited to lift the first sod in laying of the tracks and the silver spade he used is exhibited in the de Valera Museum. The railway employed about 70 people in Ennis alone. It continued to run quite successfully up until World War II, when the pressure of improving roads finally began to tell and in 1948 the Irish National Railway (CIE) decided to close the line, but instead they replaced the steam engines with diesel engines. In 1952 four new diesel engines were supplied and in 1953 CIE bought three more. The last steam passenger train left Ennis on March 15, 1952. In 1955, the West Clare was the only diesel run, narrow gauge railway in Britain and Ireland. It continued to run at a loss and finally all services were closed down on February 1961. The Ennis station house built around 1860 served as the terminus of the West Clare Railway. Many of the old railway bridges, piers, banks and other such works are still standing.
In 1896 Percy French sued The West Clare Railway for £10 for a journey he took from Ennis which was delayed at Miltown Malbay, causing him to be late for an “entertainment” he was giving at Kilkee. French’s relationship with the West Clare Railway is immortalised in the song “Are You Right There Michael” In 1956, American director John Ford produced ‘A Minute's Wait’, a short comedy on the ‘hazards’ of travelling on ‘The West Clare’ filmed at Kilkee. Apart from French’s ‘revenge taking’ song, as far as we can make out there were at least another two songs about the railway.
This is a fragment which we found in a handwritten notebook of songs given to us by our late neighbour Pat MacNamara (Paddy Mac) of Miltown Malbay.

The Train Runs to Malbay
O’Brien dear, come listen here, I’ll tell to you some news,
And though you’re at your breakfast, the treat you won’t refuse.

No more the wintry winds we’ll face in Patsy Gorman’s car,
Or face the bleak Mount Callan when the elements are at war.

We’ll snugly sit and smoke our pipes in sunshine or in rain,
As we hasten home to Miltown in the West Clare railway train.

My father sure, I’m sore afraid, must sacrifice his ears,
When Daniel Barry comes along and wields his ready shears.

For though my father always believed the words of Columbcille,
He said the train would never run as far as Hynes’ Hill

We never found any more of it.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Sep 19 - 03:26 AM

One of the best train songs I know
Jim Carroll

The West Clare Railway
Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan, Inagh, Recorded 1978
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Come listen unto me awhile I won’t detain you long.
I’ll sing you a few verses of a very comic song.
It’s all about the West Clare train that goes back to Loop Head,
And when that you were landed there you’ll wish that you were dead.

This is the way it jogs along a mile in every hour.
The only things ‘tis fit for is to hide you from a shower.
I own it is a holy show, ‘twould break your very heart,
I hope to God, they’ll pawn it soon and get an old bread cart

There are excursions every Sunday as you may plainly see
From the famous Ennis station to the cliffs of sweet Kilkee.
But sure you’d rather walk it than go in this cursed train,
For no matter how fine the day may be, ‘twill surely draw the rain.

It then jogs off up to Ruan and the first thing there you’ll see
Branded on a placard there is Liptons famous teas.
To take in some passengers she sometimes gives a call,
But anytime it stops there sure it knocks Moloney’s wall.

It then jogs on to Willbrook, and there twill stop also,
To take in a noted passenger boy, the name of Padrigín Crowe.
Sullivan gives orders, with his new railway hat.
And his face all spotted over just like a pox-marked cat.

We went one Sunday to Lahinch the weather it was fine.
And Sullivan gave orders he’d be back at half-past nine.
But when returning home that night, I’m sure he must be blind,
He never saw the station so he left us all behind.

We packed some new spuds in Miltown, and likewise some fresh beef.
When passing Lahinch station he was snoring fast asleep.
I’m sure they disagreed with him, they made the tummy swell.
For when passing Willbrook station he cried, “This is the Golf Hotel.”

He’ll soon be out in pension and for him we’ll get the news,
To drive around the station like a celebratory railway fool.
We’ll also write beneath his mouth, drop a penny in the slot.
And in thousands they will come to see this railway hotel pot.

Now to conclude I’ll finish and end this wretched call
I hope to god they’ll pawn it soon and not be wasting coal.
Or else they will repair it or get an old bread cart instead.
And I’ll also say we’ll rue the day that we went back to Loop Head.

The West Clare Railway opened on July 2nd in 1887. It was a steam driven rail service between Ennis and Kilrush and the journey took about 3 hours. It was a very important service to the people who lived along its route. Charles Stewart Parnell was invited to lift the first sod in laying of the tracks and the silver spade he used is exhibited in the de Valera Museum. The railway employed about 70 people in Ennis alone. It continued to run quite successfully up until World War II, when the pressure of improving roads finally began to tell and in 1948 the Irish National Railway (CIE) decided to close the line, but instead they replaced the steam engines with diesel engines. In 1952 four new diesel engines were supplied and in 1953 CIE bought three more. The last steam passenger train left Ennis on March 15, 1952. In 1955, the West Clare was the only diesel run, narrow gauge railway in Britain and Ireland. It continued to run at a loss and finally all services were closed down on February 1961. The Ennis station house built around 1860 served as the terminus of the West Clare Railway. Many of the old railway bridges, piers, banks and other such works are still standing.
In 1896 Percy French sued The West Clare Railway for £10 for a journey he took from Ennis which was delayed at Miltown Malbay, causing him to be late for an “entertainment” he was giving at Kilkee. French’s relationship with the West Clare Railway is immortalised in the song “Are You Right There Michael” In 1956, American director John Ford produced ‘A Minute's Wait’, a short comedy on the ‘hazards’ of travelling on ‘The West Clare’ filmed at Kilkee. Apart from French’s ‘revenge taking’ song, as far as we can make out there were at least another two songs about the railway.
This is a fragment which we found in a handwritten notebook of songs given to us by our late neighbour Pat MacNamara (Paddy Mac) of Miltown Malbay.

The Train Runs to Malbay
O’Brien dear, come listen here, I’ll tell to you some news,
And though you’re at your breakfast, the treat you won’t refuse.

No more the wintry winds we’ll face in Patsy Gorman’s car,
Or face the bleak Mount Callan when the elements are at war.

We’ll snugly sit and smoke our pipes in sunshine or in rain,
As we hasten home to Miltown in the West Clare railway train.

My father sure, I’m sore afraid, must sacrifice his ears,
When Daniel Barry comes along and wields his ready shears.

For though my father always believed the words of Columbcille,
He said the train would never run as far as Hynes’ Hill

We never found any more of it.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 04:14 AM

Fairport's version of "Travelling By Steam" (with the tune "Travel By Steam" tacked on at the end!):
Travelling By Steam

And Eels "Railroad Man" (on Jools Holland, on the "Eels With Strings" tour:
Railroad Man


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 04:08 AM

Lyrics for Bob's "Old Country Train":

Paddock Wood to Hawkhurst by way of Horsmonden
Pulling through the hopyards, pushing back again
Ramblers for Cranbrook, wagons for Churn Lane
We'll never see the like of the Old Country Train (Also Chorus)

Driver up the car end, sitting at his ease
Fireman on the engine, doing as he please
By Wealden woods and orchards, all the seasons through
We worked the line by pull-and-push on duty 312.

We'd a Chatham tank from Tonbridge, 17–0–4
And a two-set off the Brighton line, seen better years before
Never had a guard, just a crate or two of fruit
And a couple-or-three passengers all in their market suits:

Chorus...

September brought the hoppers, we watched them all go past
Coppertops and Converts, working fit to bust
Hammering through Goudhurst,charging Badger's Oak
With the roughest of the old stock they could find up in the Smoke:

Chorus... (or instrumental...fiddle works well)

I've taken out a Crompton from the yard at Hither Green
Come home off the Dover run, my working clothes all clean
But give me back the rails and that old Chatham tank
I'd be back on steam tomorrow, charging Cranbrook bank:

Chorus...


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 03:57 AM

The Hugh Williams song "Travelling By Steam" (also covered by Fairport) is a good one which I play a fair bit at sessions and open mics.

Another good one is Bob Kenward's "Old Country Train" about the Hawkhurst Line in Kent...I played it for a railway enthusiast with a special interest in this line, and he was amazed at how much research must have gone into the song to get the terminology and "feel" just right.

From the USA, Eels' "Railroad Man" is both a nostalgic look at at bygone railroad days, and a metaphor for someone feeling disconnected from the times he's living in.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 PM

The Illinois Central Railroad introduced the original City of New Orleans on April 27, 1947 as a daytime companion to the overnight Panama Limited.

The 921-mile route, which the City of New Orleans covered in 15 hours 55 minutes, was the longest daytime schedule in the United States.

The City of New Orleans exchanged St. Louis—New Orleans through cars at Carbondale, Illinois and Louisville—New Orleans cars at Fulton, Kentucky.

Today the City of New Orleans is an Amtrak passenger train which operates on an overnight schedule between Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana. (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Apr 17 - 07:36 PM

There are one or two fictional heroines in railway stories - the Railway Children in the book of the same name, Mrs Kindly in a Thomas the Tank Engine story and Maggie in the song Bill Mason.

But Kate Shelley was a real-life heroine who crawled across a shuddering trestle bridge - in the dark - to save the Midnight Special. And now she has a song too.


The lightning flashed, the thunder crashed, the rain poured down all night
A noise outside her window woke Kate Shelley with a fright
The swollen stream in Honey Creek had washed the bridge away
And soon the Midnight Special would be heading on its way

So Kate picked up a lantern and she stepped into the night
The wind it whistled round her head and then blew out her light
The storm it shook the trestle bridge as Kate crawled slowly o'er
But Kate kept on until she reached the station agent's door        

There Kate stood wild and windswept as she tried to catch her breath
Stop the train, she cried, And spare the passengers from death!
The agent took her message and then down the wire it flew
To Ogden where the train was safely halted by the crew

Kate Shelley was the heroine who saved the midnight train
Her reward from the railroad was a gold watch and a chain
Her story hit the headlines and Kate Shelley she found fame
And trains still cross a bridge today that bears Kate Shelley's name

Kate Shelley was born in Ireland in 1865, and moved to the USA as an infant. And these words fit the tune of The Blarney Roses very well.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN (Jimmy Work)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Apr 17 - 03:50 PM

This could count as a chicken song, a food song, or a train song. (I.C. = Illinois Central)


SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
As recorded by Jimmy Work and the Tennessee Border Boys, 1951.

1. There's dinner in the diner that smells good to me.
They're servin' coffee and it's half past three.
The waiter said: "What will your order be?"
It's that southern fried chicken on that old I.C.

2. I bought me a ticket down in Memphis, Tennessee.
I said I was a-goin' down to good ol' New Orleans,
Because ev'ry night I can always eat
That southern fried chicken on that old I.C.

3. Now they fry it good an' brown with that old hick'ry wood.
They say that's what make it so doggone good,
And they serve you with a smile and hospitality.
It's that southern fried chicken on that old I.C.

4. Now when I leave Chicago at four-forty-five,
I'll be goin' through Tennessee when that moon begins to rise.
There's a sign says: "Special: a buck eighty-three."
It's that southern fried chicken on that old I.C.

5. [Repeat verse 2.]


[If this train goes from Chicago though Memphis to New Orleans, via the Illinois Central, wouldn't the train be "The City of New Orleans"? However, the times don't add up]


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,GUEST, guest rt
Date: 10 Oct 15 - 01:22 PM

No wait, (the only version I've heard)

Jimmie Rodgers Doesn't Anybody Know My Name

Lyrics at http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/jimmie+rodgers/two+ten+six+eighteen+doesnt+anybody+know+my+name_20851954.html

Album title: 16 Hits of Jimmie Rodgers


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,guest rt
Date: 10 Oct 15 - 01:00 PM

Is it Jimmie Rodgers' Waiting For A Train?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKIN' FOR THE MTA (Justin Townes Earle)
From: AnneMC
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 02:36 AM

WORKIN' FOR THE MTA : This song is unusual in being an urban train song - Justin Townes Earle writes about running the 6 train in New York City, which runs from the Brooklyn Bridge to Pelham Bay Park in Manhattan. The ATU (Amalgamated Transport Union) and its President Emeritus Warren George are mentioned in the song. "Workin' for the MTA" is on Justin Townes Earle's 2010 album, 'Harlem River Blues'. (Justin Earle is Steve Earle's son).

Workin' for the MTA

Well it's cold in them tunnels today
Well it's cold in them tunnels today
It's cold down in those tunnels today
Mama, workin' for the MTA

I run that six-line train
I run that six-line train
I run a six-line train
Clear from Brooklyn Bridge to Pelham Bay

I'm the son of a railroad man
I'm the son of a railroad man
I'm the son of a railroad man
Born and raised back in south Louisian'

This ain't my daddy's train
This ain't my daddy's train
This ain't my daddy's train
Mama, I ain't seen the sun in days

Yeah them hard times are goin' around
Hard times are goin' around
Hard times are goin' around
Bringin' hard luck on New York town

But I'm bankin' on the ATU
Bankin' on the ATU
I'm bankin' on the ATU
Brother Georgie's gonna see me through

So it's cold in them tunnels today
Well it's cold in them tunnels today, babe
It's cold in those tunnels today
Mama, workin' for the MTA
Yeah I'm workin' for the MTA


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Subject: Cross ties on a railroad
From: GUEST,Guest rich
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 05:27 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to this song as written by Dennis brown & recorded by Bill Garrett. I used to have this in vinyl but it`s gone missing from my collection.
Thanks,
Rich


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: olddude
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 09:05 PM

Jim
great songs !!


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:45 AM

I worked most of my life on railroads including about 10 years on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. These days I sing and play music for the visitors who come to ride on our old steam powered lokey rides up into the woods around Mount Rainier. If you would care to hear a new train song or two feel free to visit me at www.YouTube.com/theJWSparrow   thanks


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 06:15 AM

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/801.htm


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 06:13 AM

http://www.ewan-maccoll.info/AlbumInfo.aspx?ID=191


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 06:08 AM

Don't know if it was mentioned before (I haven't got either the time or the energy to check!)but there were some very good songs on "The Ballad of John Axon (one of the the very well received BBC radio ballads)which was subsequently published on a vinyl LP by Argo Transacord which was part of the Decca group in the late 50's.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM

'Are you right there michael' by percy french. Funiculi funicula.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,kiwi_bob
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 03:50 AM

Howdy, Sam,

The village of Omapere is quite a ways (prob'ly 30 miles? -- near the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour on the western coast) from Okaihau, but Lake Omapere is only about two miles from Okaihau, both up on the central plateau between the Hokianga and the Bay of Islands.

BTW, has anyone included Merle Haggard's great train song, "Miners' Silver Ghost"?

Warm rgds from NZ.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: PHJim
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 04:59 PM

I read most of the posts, but got tired about 3/4 of the way down. Engine 143 or The Wreck On The C&O or The FFV was mentioned above as being by Joan Baez. In the Johnny Cash movie Walk The Line, Johnny, as a young boy, is listening to the radio late at night and we hear a bit of Engine 143 sung by The Carter Family.

Railroad Lady, also mentioned above was co-written by Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Buffet.

Washboard Hank's Trainyards is a super song as is Roy Payne's The Trains Never Stop In Kingston Prison.
Has Fred Eaglesmith's The Rocket been mentioned?

I love Utah's Going Away (I think that's the title). It goes:

Is that the moon I see going down in the West,
Or just a headlight's glow; C&O Express?
I know she's gone, whatever I say
And it won't be long till I've made up my mind
And gone away.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Zoe Bremer
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 08:57 AM

'The Wreck of the Old '97'. We regularly use the same tune at our square dance club but the caller knows it by another name.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: guitarman95
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 03:55 PM

Maybe I missed it but I cannot find mention of Roger Miller's ENGINE ENGINE #9

ENGINE ENGINE # 9

Engine engine number nine,
Comin' down the railroad line.
How much farther back did she get on.
An old brown suitcase that she carried,
I've looked for it everywhere it,
Just ain't here among the rest
And Im a little upset, tell me now
Engine engine number nine
Comin' down the railroad line
I know she got on in Baltimore.
A hundred ten miles ain't much distance
But it's sure to make a difference.
I don't think she loves me anymore

Lots of good ones mentioned. "Thanks all" I love it.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 12:28 PM

I've heard "Slow Train" performed by two of three artists at folk clubs.

Interestingly, some of the railways mentioned in the song survived the Beeching axe and are now thriving. It shows how backward the Conservative government and UK establishment was.

But secondly, some railways that Dr Beeching was happy to leave open were later closed by a heaviily sinister clique in the British establishment which railway enthusiasts sometimes call "The Ministry of Roads".

If the MoR wanted to build a motorway or bypass, and there was a viable railway in the way - the railway was closed or truncated.

A brilliant TV Programme - with backup book - was made by the UK 'Chanel 4' telivision station. It was some time ago now but it's worth checking out as it touches on what sinister forces get up to in the lobbies of power. The Programme was called "LOSING TRACK".

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 06:22 PM

And in the UK there is this free audio / download:

Lost Days of Steam


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Chris B.
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM

More from Oz.:

http://railwaystory.com/songs.htm


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Chris B.
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:31 AM

And in Oz.:

http://www.warrenfahey.com/rail-folklore/rail-lore.html


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Chris B
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:28 AM

Yet more from NZ

http://folksong.org.nz/trainsongs.html


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:24 AM

More New Zealand:

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/railway-songs


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: tritoneman
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:03 AM

One of my favourite train songs is 'The Slow Train' by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. Written in response to the savage Marples /Beeching cuts being made to the railways in Britain in the early 1960's. It's clever, evocative and moving but doesn't easily fit into a 'folk' idiom.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 09:35 PM

A few thoughts....

Train Songs or Railway Songs?

The US tradition seems - as a huge generalization I must admit - to be based on stories of human ordeal, grafted onto trains as the stage/backdrop. I immediately think of this sort of song when I hear the term Train Song.

The UK tradition splits in two: the first (earlier) UK thread focusses on songs about the railwayman's (Engineer's) job working the trains, love of his job etc. The classics in this genre are from Ewan McColl and Dave Goulder and a few others.

The later thread (generally 1970's onward) is more about the social and political effects of cuts and modernization. These are written more from the view of campaigners and rail enthusiasts rather than rail workers. When I hear the term "Railway Song" I think more of this group.

May I (most humbly...) add that I have written over two dozen of this type of song from the late 1960s to late 1980s. Onesuch is a 1980s song about the Swanage Railway (see earlier posting on this thread), which was recorded and released by the band Cottage Industry on their own Rural Records label. I am performing 11 of these at the moment at folk venues.

My website, containing all the lyrics, histories and hopefully music, should be operational by Summer 2011.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs, 'The Young man on the Railway'
From: GUEST,Bernard Sanders, UK
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 07:03 PM

Bless you Artful Codger for re-connecting me with my ancestor, William H Brinkworth. This means a lot to me and I thank you from my heart.

He wrote other too you know, for example 'Happy Little Flip-Flaps', whihc I take to be a song about birds.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Bobert
Date: 19 May 10 - 10:22 PM

Well, that's it, Eb... If I do another CD it will be nuthin' but train songs...

BTW, there's a song entitled "Peavine Blues"... Can't remember right now who did it but I think it would be a nice song to put on the CD...

BTW, Part 2... When I was in Clarksdale, Ms. at the Delta Blues Museum I was talkin' with this guy and he showed me on a map where the Peavine Railroad ran...

B~


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: olddude
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:40 PM

Well I wrote one called south bound train for those who haven't heard it
SB train

:-) Dan


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:25 PM

Australian Railway Songs Blogspot including poems. First edition of the Railway Song Book was launched at the National Folk Festival, Easter 2010 & is available from the Bush Music Club ($AUD20, includes postage & packing - enquire about overseas rates)

This collection of Australian Railway songs, poems, music, anecdotes and stories is being brought together by the Bush Music Club for a working book of material that can be used by bands and individuals for developing concerts and other performances on the theme of Australian Railways.

For over 150 years songwriters, poets musicians and writers have observed and recorded many aspects of Australian railway life. Many of the songs and poems came directly from those who were employed in building or operating national railway systems. Others items came from those who used railways as passengers, or recall trains amongst their earliest memories.

Collecting the experiences of railways recorded by songwriters and poets across thousands of miles of Australian railway tracks remains a huge task. In presenting this small collection as a working source of railway related material the Bush Music Club encourages bands and individual performers songwriters poets and other writers to expanded their repertory by seeking other material from sources such as Australian Railway Heritage groups like the Werris Creek Railway Museum, folk clubs, current railway workers and their unions as well producing their own items.

As part of the ongoing effort to collect Australian Railway Songs and Poems and to ensure their ongoing use in such events as next year's International Railway Heritage Conference. the Bush Music Club is preparing a work book of Australian Railway songs and poems that it hopes to publish in time for the National Folk Festival at Easter. The contents will be limited to 50 items they appear in this blog as research for the final document.

What we want is details of the song and poem as written, a music score and correct references that will allow us to approach sources of the material that may still be in copyright. Other material like photographs will be added as the work progress.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 May 10 - 10:40 AM

I think it is a good idea, Bobert. There are many theme parties or segments thereof
, and railroads are a frequent theme. Not to mention that it would be fun to learn some that people around here don't know. :)

Juneau, Alaska has no trains and I miss them. They keep talking about cutting a road north to end close to Skagway. It is controversial because it is mountainside all the way with 68 known avalanche chutes and there are a number of sea lion rookeries that would be impacted, as well as other wildlife.

My suggestion is to build a railway, mostly inside the mountains' edges with occasional open air arches; in addition to a passenger car and freight car they should add a couple of flat beds where people could transport their cars.


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Subject: The Young Man on the Railway
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:23 AM

At long last, Bernard Sanders' query about his great-great-grandfather's song "The Young Man on the Railway" has been answered here:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=129575


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Bobert
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:58 AM

Bein' a bluesman I do alot of train songs:

"Empire State Express" by Son House is my favorite...

Others:

"Train I Ride" ("Mystery Train")

"Mean 'ol Frisco"

My Originals:

"Amtrac Blues"

"Legend of the Churchill Tunnel"...

I've often thought of doin' an entire CD of train songs...

B~


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Suffet
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:42 AM

A recently composed song is The Dixieland Express, one of my own compositions. It's on my Now the Wheel Has Turned CD, and you can hear a 30-second clip by going to this page.

Here are the lyrics and guitar chords in A (although I recorded it in B):

The Dixieland Express
By Stephen L. Suffet © 2004.   Country swing in 4/4.


A                               D                     A
Gonna ride that midnight train, south from Portland, Maine,

                              E7
Rolling down the New England shore,

      A                               D             A
Gonna kiss that gal of mine, tomorrow night in Caro-line,

                     E7            A
And I'm never gonna leave her any-more.

      D                  A
Roll on (roll on), roll on (roll on),

                                    E7
It's roll on to the land I love the best!

         A                         D                A
If this train keeps a-chuggin', my gal I'll soon be huggin',

                  E7            A
I'm riding on the Dixieland Ex-press.


Gonna ride that midnight train, south from Portland, Maine,
Rolling down the New England shore,
Gonna kiss that gal of mine, tomorrow night in Caroline,
And I'm never gonna leave her anymore.

Chorus:
Roll on (roll on), roll on (roll on),
It's roll on to the land I love the best!
If this train keeps a-chuggin', my gal I'll soon be huggin',
I'm riding on the Dixieland Express.

The fireman stokes the coal, as the engine starts to roll,
Roaring past the fishing boats and farms,
And the headlight that gleams, it brightens the dreams,
Of lying in my own true love's arms.

[chorus]

I've been working way up north, for twelve long months or more,
Out where the cold nor'easter blows,
Gonna take this southbound ride, along the coast I'll glide,
Back to where the honeysuckle grows.

[chorus]

Now the sun begins to rise, to the clatter of the ties,
Halfway there, I'll be home when it sets,
If this train runs me right, I'll see my gal tonight,
I'm riding on the Dixieland Express.

[double chorus]


Enjoy!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Bernard Sanders, England
Date: 02 May 10 - 05:52 PM

My great-great grandfather was William H Brinkworth, born Shoreditch, east London 1835,son of a musician. In the 1860s-70s he led the orchestra at the Britannia theatre in Hoxton (home to the British Music Hall genre)and was also musical director for a string of Broadway shows, regularly commuting the Atlantic by steamboat.

He wrote a song called "The Young man on the railway." Can any one come up with the full lyrics or music?


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONESOME WHISTLE (Hank Williams)
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 12:46 PM

Darn- I knew I'd get it wrong. Here is the third verse corrected:

LONESOME WHISTLE
(Hank Williams)

I was ridin' Number 9, headin' south from Carolin'
I heard that lonesome whistle blow
Got in trouble, had to roam, I left my gal, I left my home
I heard that lonesome whistle blow

Just a kid acting smart
I went and broke my darlin's heart
I guess I was too young to know.
They put me on the Georgia Main
Locked me to a ball and chain.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

All alone I bear the shame, I'm a number not a name
I heard that lonesome whistle blow
All I do is sit and cry when that evenin' train goes by
I heard that lonesome whistle blow

I'll be locked here in this cell 'til my body's just a shell
And my hair is whiter than snow.
I'll never see that gal of mine
Lord, I'm in Georgia doin' time.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Rowan
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 10:40 PM

Callie mentioned (seven years ago)

Tom Waits' "Downtown Train" and a wonderful song called "Poison Train" by a man in Darwin (Australia) whose name eludes me.
--Callie

A couple of postings have mentioned Mike O'Rourke as the author of Poison Train (and Battler's Ballad) and I thought it appropriate to mention Mike was originally from Brisbane and recorded the songs with Flying Pieman when he lived in Melbourne.

There's also the song that celebrates Sergeant Small.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: That Train Song (Phil Halliday)
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 10:16 PM

Sinsull and Linn, I think this is the song you're thinking of:

Lonesome Whistle - Hank Williams
(deleted - corrected version below)


Another train song that we do:

THAT TRAIN SONG
Phil Halliday (Canadian)

Well, he gave all he had to my maw and me
Just another boy child he would never see
My maw and my paw went their separate ways
I was born on a midnight train.

Well, I was raised in a railside shack
And I'd fall asleep to that clickety clack
All day long I'd run alongside
Learned real young how to hop a ride

Well, I got a soul like a runaway train
I got a heart that feels no pain
When you're born with a track beneath your bed
You sleep, one eye open, pointin' straight ahead...


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 11:09 PM

Here is my song for my ancestors..

My name is Fitzgerald from Ireland I came
Here's to the men who are building the rail (each verse)
To join the great Garveys of railroading fame
May their hearts never break may their strength never fail

If your name should be Garvey you're likely a boss
..
America's luck is Ireland's loss
..

So I joined with my cousins my comrads and pals..
Like their fathers before them who built the canals..

Don't drink and don't gamble our dear others cried..
But there's ice in the tent and its freezing outside..

Many fine men came from over the seas..
The boxcars were filled with the bones of Chinese..

If we come back this way there are graves we will keep..
Of men so exhausted they died in their sleep..

Should I ever falter should I ever die..
Just pack me with powder and blow me sky high..

mg


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 10:14 PM

..or Amazon...

http://www.amazon.com


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 10:07 PM

seeing this thread reminded me i bought a book about 20 years ago..

i've quickly 'Ctrl/F'ed this page to check if it has already been mentioned..

[found a partial reference 'Ctrl/F'ing the word "scalded"..]


anyway, you might want to check your local library for.....



"Scalded to Death by the Steam"

Katie Letcher Lyle 1983 [forward by Mike Harding]
First published in USA by Algonquin Books
WH Allen 1885


"Authentic stories about railroad disasters and the Ballads
that were written about them"


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 09:51 PM

Here's a website with a boxcar full of info about the Canadian CD "Songs of the Iron Trail", recorded by Barry Luft, Tim Rogres, Grit Laskin, Patty Rogers and Roy Warhurst.

From the website: "Songs of the Iron Trail is a digitized and reordered version of the 1983 vinyl album of the same title. Research on the songs has been updated."

Songs of the Iron Trail


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: Ref
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 07:50 PM

Larry Penn's "Run, Kate Shelley, Run."


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 07:45 PM

Addendum:

This thread is so long, I don't have time to peruse it while at the office. But, Gordon Lightfoot's "Steel Rail Blues" was a latter day favorite. Someone earlier referred to a Bud & Travis railroad song. Travis has a website and may have lyrics on it. I know he is selling remastered CD's of their old stuff, which should include the song.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 07:35 PM

"2:10, 6:18" - The Kingston Trio performed it, and I think John Stewart wrote it.

"The Wreck of the Old 97" hit a nerve only because, several years ago, I was enjoying Christmas dinner with an old family friend, Dr. Vann. He was 98 years of age at the time, a very courtly and dignified gentleman, and a retired Navy doctor. He mentioned that his home town was Danville, Virginia. I asked if he was familiar with the song about the "Old 97" and his eyebrows went up a bit. It turns out that he, as a thirteen year old boy, had hitched up a wagon for his father, who was the only doctor in the area, and driven him to the wreck to minister to the living victims - mostly morphine.
It's not often that you meet a living connection to the music. He even corrected some of the "poetic license" particulars in the song, about the setting, the distance, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: Train Songs
From: cookster
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 05:43 PM

Wreck of the old 97 - Johnny Cash,and Long Black Train - Josh Turner. which is a new one 2004 is when it came out.


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