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Lyr Req: Time Table Blues (Captain Appleblossom)

GUEST,sussmaniac@aol.com 21 Dec 00 - 01:28 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 00 - 04:59 PM
raredance 21 Dec 00 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Michael Cooney 22 Dec 00 - 09:19 AM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 00 - 02:48 PM
raredance 22 Dec 00 - 05:55 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 11 - 09:33 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 12 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 12 Jun 18 - 08:17 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jun 18 - 09:23 PM
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Subject: train song'want to hear what the engine
From: GUEST,sussmaniac@aol.com
Date: 21 Dec 00 - 01:28 AM

Mike Cooney sang a song with the Lyrics: "If you want to hear what the engine done, Left San Antone about a quarter to one, The engineer said to me, Got to make connections with the T&P"

It goes on with neat lyrics listing the connections:

The T&P pullin' in, trying to keep up with the L&N,
The L&N sure do go, tring to keep up with the B&O,
The B&O hop and roar, trying to make connections with the Denver Shore,
The Denver Shore is four days late, trying to make connections with the Nickel Plate....

That is all I remember. Does anyone know the rest?

Michael Cooney said it was a New Lost City Ramble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: train song'want to hear what the eng
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 00 - 04:59 PM

Seems like there ought to be an answer to this. I checked our database and Forum and looked briefly through the index of Long Steel Rail, but couldn't find anything.
Anybody know Michael Cooney, or how to contact him to ask him?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: train song'want to hear what the eng
From: raredance
Date: 21 Dec 00 - 07:05 PM

Incidental trivia that does nothing to find the song. The "Nickel Plate" was built in 1881-82 as the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis (NYC&StL) to compete against the Lake Shore & MIchigan Southern. Most of the track was liad in northwestern Ohio. Shortly after it began operation it was bought out by the interests who also owned the Lakeshore & Michigan Southern.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: train song'want to hear what the eng
From: GUEST,Michael Cooney
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 09:19 AM

I think it's called "Timetable Blues"; I learned it off a New Lost City Ramblers record. While the song is less than three minutes long, I couldn't remember it unless I sang it at least once a week because there's nothing to tell you what the next line is. (Unlike a ballad, which has a story to follow.) John Cohen (who sang it on the NLCR record) admitted that he did it by reading the words.

Michael Cooney mbc42***@***ctel.net


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Subject: Time Table Blues
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 02:48 PM

Thanks, Michael - there's a song called "Time Table Blues," recorded by "Captain Appleblossom" on a Rounder CD called Train 45: Railroad Songs of the Early 1900's (click) - I checked the sound clip, and that's the song. Take a look at the great list of songs on that CD. If anybody would like to send it to me as a Christmas present, I'd be grateful...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: train song'want to hear what the eng
From: raredance
Date: 22 Dec 00 - 05:55 PM

Here's a list of the railroads mentioned in Captain Appleblossom's version of the "Time Table Blues" from the Rounder "Train 45" album notes written by Norm Cohen. Cohen describes the song as "an astonishing example of how one can fashion a musical composition out of little more than the names of some two dozen railroads." The railroads are:

T&P (Texas & Pacific); IGN (International Great Northern); Nickel Plate (New York, Chicago & St. Louis); Iron Mountain (probably St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern); MStL (Minneapolis & St. Louis); MKT (Missouri, Kansas & Texas); P&LE (Pittsburg & Lake Erie); B&O (Baltimore & Ohio); IC (Illinois Central); C&S (Colorado & Southern); Big Four (originally Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago; later Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis); C&A (Chicago and Alton); L&N (Louisville & Nashville); CB&Q (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy); T&NO (Texas & New Orleans); Denver Road (probably Denver & Rio Grande); Lackawanna; Cotton Belt; Santa Fe; Lehigh Valley; Wabash; Pennsylvania.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: TIMETABLE BLUES (New Lost City Ramblers)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 09:33 PM

My transcription of the recording at Spotify. I have "clickified" all the railroads I can identify.


TIMETABLE BLUES
As sung by the New Lost City Ramblers on "Modern Times" (1968)

1. Now if you what to hear what the engine done,
We left San Antonio at a quarter to one.
Engineer said to me:
We gotta make connection with the T&P.

2. T&P, pullin' in,
Tryin' to keep up with the I&GN.
I&GN, they're on the funk,
Tryin' to make connection with the Grand Trunk.

3. Grand Trunk is four days late,
Tryin' to keep up with the Nickel Plate.
Nickel Plate is a-comin' 'round the corner,
Tryin' to make connection with the Lackawanna.

4. Lackawanna, runnin' like a fountain,
Tryin' to keep up with the Iron Mountain.
Iron Mountain, goin' swell,
Tryin' to keep up with the NF&L(?*).

5. NF&L(?) hops like a flea,
Tryin' to make connection with the MK&T.
MK&T had to wait,
Tryin' to keep up with the Golden Gate.

6. Golden Gate runs up an alley,
Tryin' to make connection with the Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley, shoutin' with glee,
Tryin' to keep up with the P&LE.

7. Oh, the P&LE they run all day,
Tryin' to keep up with the Santa Fe.
Santa Fe sure do go,
Tryin' to make connection with the B&O.

8. B&O runs to the sea,
Tryin' to keep up with the old IC.
IC spends the cash,
Tryin' to make connection with the Wabash.

9. The Wabash is a-runnin' fine,
Tryin' to keep up with the Pennsylvania Line.
Pennsylvania Line's in an awful mess,
Tryin' to make connection with the C&S.

10. [INSTRUMENTAL BREAK]

11. Oh, the C&S just barely tore(?),
Tryin' to keep up with the Big Four.
Big Four, runnin' through a thicket,
Tryin' to keep up with the Southern Pacific.

12. Southern Pacific, lean and sway,
Tryin' to make connection with the C&A.
C&A, runnin' like sin,
Tryin' to keep up with the L&N.

13. L&N just barely flew,
Tryin' to make connection with the CB&Q.
CB&Q, goin' slow,
Tryin' to keep up with the T&NO.

14. The T&NO, runnin' fast,
Tryin' to make connection with Aransas Pass
Aransas Pass, huff an' roar,
Tryin' to keep up with the old West Shore.

15. The West Shore with an awful load,
Tryin' to make connection with the Denver Road,
And the Denver Road, just about to melt,
Tryin' to keep up with the Cotton Belt.

16. And the Cotton Belt, they're behind so far—
[SLOWLY] They can't keep up with a trolley car.


[* I have been unable to identify a railroad company called the NF&L. Am I mishearing this name?

[If I wanted to sing this song, I'd probably substitute MStL for NF&L, but that does not sound like what he's singing.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Time Table Blues (Captain Appleblossom)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 03:12 PM

Don't know if anyone is interested in the chords to this, but I think they might be as follows:

A                  
Now if you what to hear what the engine done,
D7
We left San Antonio at a quarter to one.
G7
Engineer said to me:
C
We gotta make connection with the T&P.


I guess the 7 chords are optional, but I prefer them to the basic D and G chords


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Time Table Blues (Captain Appleblossom)
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:17 PM

This is "What The Engine Done" by Les Copeland, 1911.
https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10315/13603/JAC000616.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT THE ENGINE DONE (Les C. Copeland)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jun 18 - 09:23 PM

Joseph Scott: Thanks for the link! Here's my transcription from the sheet music. It seems to me the song could be broken up into twelve 4-line verses, instead of two 24-line verses.


WHAT THE ENGINE DONE
Words and music by Les C. Copeland, ©1911.

1. Listen! let me tell you what the engine done.
She left New Orleans about a quarter to one.
The engineer he says to me:
I got to make connections with the Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe does fairly shout,
A-trying to keep up with the Sunset route.
The Sunset route runs all night,
A-tryin' to make connections with the Old Red Light.
The Old Red Light runs to the sea,
Trying to keep up with the M. K. and T.
The M. K. and T. runs so fast,
Tryin' to get along with the Ransas Pass.
The Ransas Pass runs all day,
Tryin' to make connection with the C. and A.
C. and A. sho' does dash,
Trying to keep up with the Old Wabash.
The Old Wabash runs along fine,
Tryin' to make connection with the Jersey Central Line.
The Jersey Central Line runs a good gait,
Tryin' to make connections with the Nickel Plate.
The Nickel Plate carries a load,
Tryin' to get along with the Pennsylvania Road.
The Pennsylvania Road beats them all,
Tryin' to make connections with the Cannon Ball.

2. The Cannon Ball runs through the thicket,
Tryin' to keep up with the Missouri Pacific.
Missouri Pacific runs like a fountain,
Tryin' to make connections with the Iron Mountain.
Iron Mountain sho' does pelt,
A-trying to keep up with the Cotton Belt.
The Cotton Belt runs up an alley,
Tryin' to make connections with the Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley hands you the bunk,
Trying to keep up with the Old Grand Trunk.
The Old Grand Trunk raises cane,
Tryin' to make connections with the Boston and Maine.
The Boston and Maine flies like a raven,
Tryin' to keep up with the New York and New Haven.
New York and New Haven sho' does go,
Tryin' to make connections with the B. and O.
B. and O. steps about,
Tryin' to make connection with the Lackawanna Route.
The Lackawanna Route sho' does roar,
Trying to keep up with Old West Shore.
The Old West Shore keeps its time,
Tryin' to make connection with the Erie Line.
The Erie Line behind so far,
Can't make connection with the Trolley Car.


[The Internet Archive has a recording by Two Ton Baker from 1949. He sticks pretty close to the above lyrics. Spotify has a recording by The Hollow Trees from their album "Wacky's Tackle" (2010); I suspect they got the song from Two Ton Baker.]


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