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Discussion: Love Affair With Trains

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JenEllen 19 Jun 02 - 02:42 PM
Bobert 19 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM
Mrrzy 19 Jun 02 - 03:31 PM
Mrrzy 19 Jun 02 - 04:54 PM
Les from Hull 19 Jun 02 - 05:45 PM
Mark Clark 19 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM
greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM
Eric the Viking 19 Jun 02 - 05:59 PM
Amos 19 Jun 02 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM
JenEllen 19 Jun 02 - 06:34 PM
Gareth 19 Jun 02 - 06:36 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Jun 02 - 06:40 PM
JenEllen 19 Jun 02 - 06:42 PM
JenEllen 19 Jun 02 - 06:47 PM
Gareth 19 Jun 02 - 06:47 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Jun 02 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 19 Jun 02 - 07:06 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Jun 02 - 07:17 PM
catspaw49 19 Jun 02 - 07:25 PM
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Subject: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 02:42 PM

I had a nice chat last night with a friend that works for the BNSF, and sparked me a bit. Trains run through here, freight only, but I have lived in areas where trains played a major part in economics and daily life. Obviously, when something is that much a part of a life, songs get written. My questions to start discussion are:

Favourite train songs?
One that's been stuck in my head all day is 'Smoke Along the Tracks'
Bye bye, so long
There's something down the track that's calling me
Bye bye, so long
I guess that's just the way I'll always be
When I get that feelin', don't try and hold me back
I'll only leave you cryin' in the smoke along the track

Is this a solely North American occurance?
I don't know of any other place that relied so heavily on train travel for human expansion, but I'm also an idiot.

How do you feel that relationship has changed over the years?
Riding the rails isn't the same as it was, either for freight or personal travel. Do you know of any music to reflect the change? (L&N already taken into consideration!)

Thanks,
~JenEllen


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM

Me too, Jen Ellen. If you'l PM me an address I'll send you a tape of a couple I've written and poorly recorded over the years. On, entitled "The Legend of the Churchill Tunnel" is about a true story of a tunnel collapsing on a train in Richmond, Va. back in 1925 and the train and people were left there and are still their to this very day...

"Sad day sitting on the B & O line... Don't know why I jumped the train.... Guess life's questions got to me that day.... Had nothin' left there to gain..." (the Bobert in his train jumpin' days)

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 03:31 PM

I love train songs.

It's true that I don't know any train songs in other languages, although I know a lot of folk songs from other places... the only train song I can think of in French that I learned as a child turned out to mean the "train" of a king, as in, entourage. How many train songs are there that aren't about wrecks or death of hobos or something? I can only think of 2, one was a parody by Shel Silverstein, and one is about catching the end of an old freight train, and I never did come back... Oh, OK, the children's song Clickety Clack along along, the train's a-coming a-chung a-chung.

Blue railroad train
The train that carried my girl from town
Southbound

I always live where I can hear a train roll by, always have, wouldn't move to somewhere too far from railroad tracks. Don't know why, maybe I like my dishes rattling!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 04:54 PM

I've been thinking about this. I know lots and lots of American songs that mention trains even if they aren't the focus of the song... And all the European folk songs I know talk about boats, or horses, if they're going to mention a method of travel. Must be a time thing - we're such a new country that our songs have more recent technology?

Great thread!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Les from Hull
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 05:45 PM

It's true - we don't really have train songs in the UK. And we invented them!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mark Clark
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM

The largest steam locomotive in the world (12 wheels, 122 ft. including tender) just came through Cedar Rapids again yesterday. I'll link to the video on the local newspapers site.

It's possible you need to be a registered user to see the video. If that's the case, I'm sorry.

      - Mark

QuickTime: Modem | T1/Cable/DSL
Windows Media: Modem | T1/Cable/DSL


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM

I think we have to face the fact that the Old World folk must have been drying up on creativity by the time the trains came rolling by. The huge body of wonderful American folksongabout trains, or imitating the sounds of trains, is pretty much totally absent in Brtain.Or to be strictly accurate, loads of songs were produced, and were documented, but they proved ephemeral, and havent been done since ( unless flogged back to uncertain life byrevivalists). Maybe its geography, no thousands of miles to roar across through the night, blowing lonesome whistles.Alas, we havent got our Orange Blossom Specials and Wrecks of the old 97.Sea songs, or tunes imitating fox-hunting, that's another story!!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 05:59 PM

For a start there's "The iron road" by Ewan McColl, he did a series on radio about railways, like he did about fishing. Social commentry. I think there is a CD of his and others railway songs-will try and find out! I am sure there are some others written, but even as a past railway enthusiast, can't seem to remember any at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:25 PM

Well, I always enjoyed That Old Fast Freight, probably the first song connected with trains I ever learned except for Malvina's all-time classic Freight Train which back then was the hallmark of the neophyte. I love the Wabash Cannonball in all its variations, dunno why. And the other old saw, Wreck of the Old 97 was one that alwaysgot a guffaw out of my Kentuckian uncle when he was alive, although I don't know exactly why, and Railroad Bill was a reg'lar dogeared old treat for many years. Oh, and The FF&V if that is its proper name. And I'm actually fond of SPirit of New Orleans which shows you what a mushmelon I am. :>) I am sure there are ten others I have forgotten, and these are pretty bland and standard fare but they're what I recall at the moment.

A

A


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM

Good point for a salute to Sonny Terry, who could play train sounds better than anyone I've ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:34 PM

Thanks, Bobert. PM sent. I know what you mean about those train jumping days. In Indiana, where I spent a great deal of time growing up, that is a viable source of entertainment to this very day. Sad thing is that in the 3 generations of my family that have been in the US, at least one person in each generation has been maimed by a train. Never killed, but mauled for sure (pinned femurs, missing arms). Something to be feared, but loved all the same.

Mrrzy, I dunno about the wreck/hobo thing, that is kind of what I'm trying to figure out too. I guess that "new River Train" is a riding song, but not necessarily a bad one. I also wonder how much of the technology you were talking about plays a part in the songs. Was the US such a large place to tackle (yeah, manifest destiny!) that horses/boats weren't the way to do it, but also that trains were so slow that a person could spend a lot of time riding one and coming up with songs because there wasn't much else to do?

Mark, beautiful video. We have a passenger train out here that runs around the park at Mount Rainier...I'll look for a link...gorgeous scenery, and the trains are lovely.

Thanks also, Greg. That was kind of what I had figured, without the juice to back it up. I've ridden trains in the UK, France and Italy, but had never heard any folk songs. Mrrzy brought up the children's songs, do you also find them lacking as well? Anything along the lines of the "Little Red Caboose" songs or somesuch?

Erik, if you can remember that CD, give a holler, okay?

When I'm old and grey and settle down
If I ever get the chance to sneak away from town
I'll spend my busman's holiday
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Sante Fe

~JE


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:36 PM

Eric, John Axon must be turning in his grave !

Yes there are British songs, which have the same connection to folk as does filk, or other "specialities", not to say it aint music, but of a enthisiast nature.

Somehow I can't see much future for the "Song of the HST", or the "Ballard of Railtrack". - Or is this a case of (Big Grin) Country and Great Western ?

And at the risk of having boots, shoes, and other objects thrown at me, or the nearest Monitor :-

Cosher Bailey had an engine,.....

BTW Did you know you can sing "Achy Breaky Heart" to the soundtrack of the old Argo Transcord recording of a 28XX climbing Stormy Bank on the Llanwern Iron Ore trains - Railwayline dancing ???

Gareth - in Anorak mode


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:40 PM

Tim Brooks - "Steam again in Goathland", about the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Flanders and Swann - "The slow train" (which is on the forthcoming Patterson, Jordan and Dipper Flat Earth CD).
Roger Watson's "You can't take that on the train" (with help from Rules & Regulations of the Great Central Railway 1903) recorded by the New Victory Band on "One more dance and then". (There's a mention of the railway station in "Pretty little girl from nowhere" as well.)

And moving southwards to Australia, John Warner's "Railway Widow's Blues" (sung by Margaret Walters on "Who was here" but also included in Hen Party's new Heart Gallery show). Also, arguably, JW's Nyora Railway Journal aka Dear Diary, which isn't about railways but about the women left behind in railway camps.

But we look to the USA for great railroad songs (John Henry, Casey Jones, the railroad runs through the middle of the house. Not to mention the Chattanooga choo choo, or the trusty lariat.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:42 PM

Gareth, your anorak can kick it for my money...LOL... What do you suppose makes those songs 'un-folk'?

For train lovers: Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad

~JE


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:47 PM

Thanks Kitty! Perfect, and lots of new ones to me. This is not exactly folk (and I'm not sure that 'yearny' is even a word...) but a favourite all the same:

Got my bag, got my reservation
Spent each dime I could afford
Like a child in wild anticipation
Long to hear that "All aboard"

Seven, that's the time we leave, at seven
I'll be waitin' up for heaven
Countin' every mile of railroad track
That takes me back

Never thought my heart could be so yearny
Why did I decide to roam?
Gotta take that sentimental journey
Sentimental journey home

~JE


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:47 PM

Jen Ellen These/those songs are folk - its just that they seem to be confined to a restricted circle. I loved your Mount Rainier site, but try this for the UK , Click Here

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:04 PM

JE

Well, "yearny" doesn't appear in my Chambers dictionary, and I bet it isn't an Official Scrabble Word either. However, I know exactly what it means. Of course it's also begging to be used in a song on the lines of "Yearny one morning, just as the steam was rising....." (though that probably means that some adolescent spotty youth had got up early to write down train numbers in a notebook).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:06 PM

Yes, we have modern English train songs, but they tend to be nostalgic looks on the good old days of steam. Ewan mcColl certainly tried to inject the note of romance( wonderfullywell ) into the "Ballad of John Axon", but that again was a revivalist take on the past, not a glorious contemporary celebration the new technology that we find running through a huge volume of American material. My point is that the many contemporaryEnglish celebrations of the early days of railways completely failed to enter public consciousness in any longterm way.They just werent connected to the zeitgeist, they never became folksongs, or however you would like to put it.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:17 PM

Greg

That might be because the railways in America and Australia were opening up new territory, whereas in Britain they were just providing quicker alternatives to turnpike roads, but then got superseded by motorways.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:25 PM

America's love affair began because of the speed with which trains could traverse this huge country. They were developing as the country developed as well. The technology shared the same path as the growth of the US. Towns were built to coincide with rail service, if there were no water routes, and of course many rail lines centered around getting goods to shipping ports. It was a match made in heaven.

Building railroads and rail operation were a major job source for immigrants as well. As steam and steel technology developed, the more complex engines involved more shops and more maintenance which again built towns centered upon the railroad as their chief industry. I grew up in one of them. But everything develops around technolgy and as the airlines came along and better highways and vehicles became available, moving goods and people by rail became less cost effective. The Diesel helped keep the railroads alive but they took the nostalgia away.......It's hard to get excited about a Diesel. They're pretty neat things and pretty economical too, but a steam engine was a living, breathing, entity, each having very personal characteristics. You could hear them breathing!!! The men who mastered these behemoths were special too. Looking into the cab of a big steamer is to be awestruck by the gauges and levers and assorted handles.....as mystical to most as looking into the cockpit of a jet.

The Enginemen were almost heroes and to many kids that watched them pass they were something akin to gods. Each engineer had his own special sound to his whistle and they leaned out of the cabin window and blessed us with a wave. Each had a reputation and some of the more colorful were the meat of many songs. Firing these magnificent creatures was no mean feat and the ability to build and bank a fire to maintain and attain maximum steam made a Fireman's job an artform as well as hot, sweaty, and dirty. And of course a railroad accident was quite similar to a plane crash today but with the added bit of them occuring quite often in places well witin our view. The tales of what an engineer, fireman, brakeman, flagman, or conductor, did in the wrecks was the stuff of folklore and often reached mythical proportions. The truth of what actually was done or even could have been done was frankly not as interesting. For all those reasons it is only natural that this country should have fallen in love with trains and the things surrounding them.

My Dad was an engineman on the Pennsylvania Railroad for the whole of his adult working life. He started out of high school on the section gang and went into engine service a couple of years later. He was in a Railway Batallion during WWII and came back to the Pennsy as soon as it was over. The PRR was early in converting to Diesels but Dad fired the last of the steamers. Advancement on the roads was based on seniority and although he had qualified as an engineer he stayed as a fireman for many years until he could hold a regular slot on the board. So when the last of M1's and K4's made their final runs on the PanHandle Division, Dad fired those engines. I remember years later in about 1962 when the last of the steamers were cut up for scrap in the Columbus Yards, it was about as close as I ever came to seeing him cry at that point in my life. He was an engineer for the rest of his life and even with the Diesels, an engineer still had a reputation of some sort and the Ol' Man was known as a "smooth rider"....a term used by those in the caboose to describe a good engineer who could stop and start, take in or run out slack as needed, without disturbing their rest or their pinochle game.

Railroaders back then were still a special breed who loved what they did. 30 years later, one of the most poignant memories I have of my Dad is from a time when he was quite ill within only a few weeks of his death. He had me take him to the Yards so he could pick up some things out of his locker. We cleaned it out and packed up his "Grip" for the final time. But on the way out we sort of had to "detour" through an engine shop and though I protested, he went that way. Walking through the shops, we stopped at an idling GP9 and he slowly started up into the cab. Again, I protested that this was way too much effort that he shouldn't be wasting, but he looked down at me and said, "Just one last time." So we climbed up and sat in the cab for awhile and if I was ever closer to him, I don't know when it would have been.

The rails were close at hand for people to see and hear and feel and they grew with us. For those who long for older and simpler times, the sound, feel, and the smell of a great steamer are all that is needed to trigger visions of a different life in a different world, far removed from this current time and place.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:26 PM

I think youre quite right Kitty.That sense of new space and going somewhere different is not there in British Railways. The lack of lasting canal songs is the same as the railway thing, their building was celebrated in contemporary songs which were quickly forgotten. But the sea obviously went right through British life, language and music, and is still going strong( in spite of the channel tunnel).


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 07:43 PM

Spaw thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. A wonderful read. No wonder Americans made great train songs. Back here we didnt have the songs...but everyone of my generation wanted to be an engine driver! And still do..everyone volunteers(and even pay) to help on the the re-opened old steam lines. Mind you we helped, over here. There was the steam engine, for a start! (anybody know that George Watt also made bagpipes and flutes for a living, when the inventing wasnt paying the bills...but I digress). And I think you can hear the old British/Irish fiddle rhythms, harmonies and song structures well up front in the mix.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 08:23 PM

Spaw, THANK YOU. Owe ya one.

~JE

PS: George Watt? James Watt's evil bagpipe-building twin brother? (just pulling your leg, greg *g*)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 08:40 PM

Well the thing is JenEllen I'm enjoying a pleasant evening at home,my significant other is away working in Manchester and I'm sitting here watching the TV and talking bollocks on Mudcat and maybe enjoying more than a glass or two of South African White (a complete snip at £2.49 atthe local shop) and somehow James turned into George(much like what happened when we got rid ofthe Stuarts and got in the Hanoverians).I admit it I made a blooper...anyway track twenty nine boy you can give me a shine and I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow zzzzzzzzsnorrrrrrreeeeeeeee


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 09:11 PM

Ah, PatSpaw, that should be read on NPR and every other media that would reach as many people as possible. Absolutely beautiful, though hard to read through the tears.:-)

No one has made mention of our own Art Thieme's tape That's the Ticket which is full of wonderful train songs, including Zack - the Mormon Engineer, The Hobo's Last Ride, Me and Jimmie Rogers, Dobie Bill, & East Texas Red among others. As far as I know, Folk Legacy still offers it on cassette. It is Number FSI-90.

I am not up on the more recent (last 20 years or so) kids' stuff, but surely Ringo must've had some train songs with his series for children with "Thomas?"

One of my earliest memories of a train song is of sheet music mom and dad had of A Railroad Runs Through The Middle of the House, at least that's the name I remember. Oh, the railroad runs through the middle of the house, the middle of the house, the middle of the house...Oh, the railroad ruuns through the middle of the house...All the livelong day. It had a black, white, and red illustration, kind of a caricature of a house with a train coming out of the page, splitting the house right down the middle. We used to sing it a lot and I remember my little kid's mind imagining what it would really be like to have a RR running through our house!

I was fortunate to grow up, most of my childhood, near where the California Zephyr runs with its Vistadome cars giving a 360 view of the magnificient scenery of the West, from Chicago on. Had many fabulous rides on it, as a child and adult. Have also been on the narrowgauge which runs from Silverton to Durango, CO. And, collected old RR spikes at what I think is the highest narrowguage tunnel in the US, the Alpine Tunnel up above Pitkin, CO. I'll post some links, later on.

I have always loved trains and still have some ticket stubs my brother saved for me as a child. The first time I remember riding one was on what was jokingly referred to as the "Toonerville Trolley" which mom and I rode from Casper, WY to Denver, CO, to see my grandma.

One of my favs. is, of course, Hank Williams' I'm so lonesome...I always think of that song when I can't sleep and hear the 2am freight train coming through....

thanks, Jendarlin'...great thread...

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 07:06 AM

Dan Bilston did some good English train stuff, especially about the railway working life.

Eric Bogle's "No Use For Him" is on a railway theme, even if it's not about a train or a railway. It goes back to the days of the wholesale closures of British railway lines as a result of the Beeching Report.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 07:55 AM

Excellent piece, Catspaw.

You really are a very good writer.

Shame that you waste your talent on 'fart jokes' much of the time.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 07:59 AM

oops the Man with No Name is in town again


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:04 AM

Why do you hate me Greg?

It's getting close to racism


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: HuwG
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:07 AM

One British Railway song which I heard fleetingly on Channel 4 some months ago, and have been trying to trace ever since, was called "The Late Freight Blues". It dealt with the delights (!) of working on British Railways in the last days of steam haulage, with run-down track and rolling stock, members of different unions not speaking to each other and a general fed-up feeling. Does anyone know more about this song ?

Soot in my hair
Smoke in my eyes
Cinders in my shoes
Something, something, something
Singing the Late Freight Blues


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLOW TRAIN (Flanders & Swann)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:18 AM

SLOW TRAIN

Flanders and Swann

Millers Dale for Tideswell
Kirby Muxloe
Mow Cop and Scholar Green


No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe,
On the slow train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road,
No churns, no porter,
No cat on a seat,
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street
We won't be meeting again on the slow train.

I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw,
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more,
No whitewashed pebbles,
No up and no down,
From Formby-Four-Crosses to Dunstable Town,
I won't be going again on the slow train.

On the main line and the goods siding,
The grass grows high,
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside, and Trouble House Halt.
The sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate,
No passenger waits on Chittering Platform or Cheslyn Hay,
No-one departs, no-one arrives,
From Selby to Goole,
From St. Erth to St. Ives,
They all passed out of our lives,
On the slow train,
On the slow train.
Cockermouth for Buttermere
On the slow train.
Armley Moor Arram
Pye Hill and Somercotes
On the slow train.
Windmill End.....


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:36 AM

Cyril Tawney's "You're in the sidings now" is a good'un, also about the Beeching cuts. While I'm at it, somebody told name how to a linebreak, so I'll try.
Wonder if that worked.
Hope so


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 08:37 AM

Yippee, it did. Now I can write out song lyrics properly.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: 53
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 09:17 AM

Folsum Prison Blues has to be my favorite song about trains, of course cause I used to sing that when I was playing in the band. Bob


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mark Clark
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 09:38 AM

Pat, That piece is truly wonderful. It needs to be preserved somewhere, why don't you write a book? Even an e-Book? I'd buy it.

I remember Dave Prine (John's brother) and Tyler Wilson, who used to perform as The National Recovery Act bemoaning the dearth of new train songs. Dave observed that while trains used to be “comin' down the grade makin' 90 miles an hour” they now travel 30 miles an hour down a straight track and just fall off halfway along. Not much romance there.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 09:38 AM

Guest:

That (20-Jun-02 - 08:18 AM) is a stunning piece of work; magic all through. Thanks!

A


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 09:40 AM

You're welcome Amos.

Even better with the tune


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 02:06 PM

Thank you all for the extremely kind comments. There are wondeful train songs that are being pointed out from other countries. But the American love affair with the rails is different due to that pioneering/inventing parallel that helped bring many diverse people together in a large and growing country. America in general has always had some kind of close bond with "machinery" and the railroads were a step along the way.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 04:00 PM

Amos

A friend of mine also wrote "Sloe gin" to the same tune as "Slow train" - I wonder if he's still got the words....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 04:11 PM

Oh, and as Guest didn't mention this, the lines in Slow Train in italics are spoken, not sung - like station announcements


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Subject: ADD: Milwaukee/St. Paul (Jerry Rasmussen)
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 04:53 PM

Hi, Jen Ellen:

I wrote this song about the railroad line that went through my home town when I was a kid growing up in Southern Wisconsin. Trains always held a mystery to me. Lying in bed at night, I could hear the train whistles moaning as they headed off across the prairie, and the railroad tracks always promised a freedom and adventure that a little kid found fascinating. I lived four blocks from the railroad tracks and "wasted" much of my summer days along the tracks. We'd walk the tracks out to the country to abandoned gravel pits where we'd build rafts and have titanic battles to try to sink each other, or go shooting frogs or pop bottles with our bb guns. When I got older, we'd climb up under the railroad trestles and catch pigeons at night. Or, we'd stop by the ice house and beg chips of ice from the man when he came to the back door. Railway Express was the way to ship larger items, and it was always exciting to go up there on the rare occasion when someone shipped something to us. In the early 60's, they tore the railroad depot down in my home town, and stopped passenger service, even though the town is over 60,000 population. I wrote this song in the mid-60's.

MILWAUKEE/ST. PAUL
(Jerry Rasmussen)

Walking down the track on a dusty day
With the long steel rails so shiny
Now they tore the railroad depot down
And the tracks have all gone rusty

Fishing off the edge of the railroad bridge
You can feel the steel rails humming
Better put your bait and your bucket down
'Cause the train will soon be coming

All you got to do is to walk those ties
And they're bound to lead you to the country
Lie on your back in the tall, sweet grass
Or you can take your dog and go hunting

I could sit and watch those trains all day
And the cars just keep on coming
Chicago Northwestern, Milwaukee St. Paul
And the steel rails keep on humming

I sang this song at a folk festival out here on the East Coast, and someone came up to me afterwards and said, "I fished off that bridge." I got excited, and figured that he'd grown up in my home town. I said, "Did you grow up in Janesville?" and he answered, "No, Colorado... but it was the same railroad bridge."

And it was

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 01:19 AM

Growing up in "ferryland" (on the coast)...I've never had too much to do with trains...in fact I've never been on a train. I have had love affairs that have left me feeling like a train wreck though! Lovely piece Pat... I do hope that you write that book...you are a brilliant writer. I'm so glad that I peeked in this thread!

LL


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 04:09 AM

Arriving late as usual I would like to add my appreciation too of Spaw's piece...sat here in Olde Englande reading it quite misty eyed...very moving.

Although we have a plethora of preserved steam railways here, to a child it gives only an impression of what the golden days of steam must have been like (maybe not so golden for the railway company employees), but for one who does remember I'm extremely grateful to the bands of enthusiats who keep this stuff running.

The man who captured the American railroad scene for me was surely O.Winston Link . His evocative photography is sheer magic and to an Englishman reflects not only the magnificence of steam but also speaks eloquently of the lives of folk in small rural towns grown up beside the railroads. Try checking him out...a remarkable man with a checquered career and a bizarre marriage! There, that should whet your appetite!

Oh!, back on course, I seem to remember Dave Goulder was well known known for his railway songs and think he was a railway man himself. All that was long ago though.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Banjer
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 04:43 AM

Thanks 'Spaw, for the moving story about your Dad and his love for the trains...leaves this old goat damp eyed!

To answer one of the original querys:

Favourite train songs?
'Wabash Cannonball', "From the great Atlantic Ocean, to the wide Pacific shore....." would have to be among the top ten.
'Midnight Special' also in that mix.
'The Dying Hobo', "His partner swiped his shoes and sock and hopped the eastbound freight...."
'Eastbound Train' "....you'll not need a ticket as long as I'm on this car."(first song I learned ALL the words to and still remember most of them!)
'Orange Blossom Special'
'Paradise', talking about 'Mr. Peabody's coal train.

As soon as I hit the submit button, I will probably remember more!!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Banjer
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 04:50 AM

I meant to mention also that I get a lot of enjoyment out of Microsoft's Train Simulator. It has both steam and diesel engines and you can adjust the amount of realisim you want. There are many activities from passenger runs to freight hauls, and many situations invoving coupling and uncoupling on various sidings or running a passenger line on certain schedules. You can choose to fire your own steam engine or let the game do it for you. Water levels in tenders can be manipulated along with a miryad of other neat features. I saw the Train Simulator at Best Buy, (a computer chain type store in our area, possibly national also) for under $30. Worth looking at if you enjoy trains.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Banjer
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 05:04 AM

I knew just as soon as the submit button cooled down I would remember more:

Fireball Mail,
Wreck of the Old 97'
(I'll stop now)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 11:12 AM

Jon Dudley, thanks for the heads-up about Link. Here is an interesting article about him, with some about that strange wife of his(!) and, if one clicks on some of the book titles, there are also a few photos, well worth the read and look: O. Winston Link

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Jim Krause
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 11:31 PM

Well I'm not quite old enough to remember the days of steam. Although I have been told that there were a few of 'em left when I was very young.

Living here in the middle of the Great Plains, one can on a still, frosty autumn evening hear away off in the distance the sound of a diesel blowing her horn at a crossing. And while it may not do much for those a few years older than I, that sound is about the lomesomest sound I have ever heard.

That sound just sounds like crying to me. But not the kind of crying that makes you feel better. It sounds like the forlorn crying of a broken hearted lover. The metaphore may be a little hackneyed perhaps. Describing such a mournful sound without singing is near impossible for me. It's a sound that pinches inside you. It's a sound that attaches itself indellibly in your memory to a time and a place. And every time you hear that sound, you won't be able to forget that time or that place. That's what a diesel engine's horn sounds like to me.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jun 02 - 10:09 PM

Here are the links I promised:

(this is where we used to pick up old rr spikes and sell them to the tourists for fifty cents a piece)
Alpine Tunnel lots of pictures;

Alpine Tunnel Historic Dist. Auto Tour description;

Alpine Tunnel scroll down for the pix;

and, this one is not to be missed if you ever get a chance to ride it. Sadly, right now, it has been stopped lest any sparks from the tender cause more forest fires since they run in Durango and over the top to Silverton: Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge 120 years running!

And, one I've been on several time and which Amtrak still runs:

1949 brochure describing the new California Zephyr and its Vista Dome cars;

California Zephry History.

When I get my pix unpacked, I'll try to get some up of coming across the Rockies on the Zephyr. It is really dramatic and beautiful.






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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 12:24 AM

*refresh*

and thanks to all for some VERY interesting reading


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 12:27 AM

kat, I'm interested in the technical aspects of a tender that causes sparks!!!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 02:25 AM

Oops! Did I get that wrong, Hrothgar? On an old steam train, a coal tender? Whatever it is they have the fire in? Or, are ya just funning me?*bg* I 'spose a tender heart could cause sparks, eh?

BTW, I noticed an actor by the first name of Hrothgar on a tv show tonight, I think it was Stargate...made me think of you.:-)

Thanks to you, JenEllen, for this wonderful thread!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,herrhare@hotmail.com
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 03:55 AM

I mentioned this record in the ivor the driver thread

dave goulder - "requiem for steam" - Big Ben records BB 00.04 recorded june '71

delightful and atmospheric

richard n


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 05:28 AM

kat

The tender is the bit that carries the coal and water (depending on the type of engine - I don't think there was a large incidence of tank engines that carried their own water in the US), while the engine itself is the bit with the fire and the boiler and all those good bits. The tender is usually dragged along behind the engine, but is coupled very closely to it to minimise problems of access for the enginemen.

What is "Stargate?" If it ever comes to Australia, I might have to watch it - which will only be if I remember to turn the TV on. That usually happens for football and the occasional old movie, or something really special like a Ken Burns series.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: van lingle
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 09:34 AM

Great thread, Jen Ellen. My father's father was a dispatcher and station manager on the Union Pacific his whole working life (except for a short stint on the SP) and his mother's brothers were engineers and dipatchers. Dad grew up mostly in converted boxcars and as a kid performed various chores around small town railroad stations in various western states and I've inherited his love of trains and locomotives in particular. In fact, you could make a good case for putting steam powered trains back into service as they were as fast as conventional diesels and could certainly be made to operate cleaner. Diesels, of course, would be more practical for yard work and similar tasks.
At any rate, some train songs:

Golden Rocket
Streamlined Cannonball
Rock Island Line
Bringing in the Georgia Mail (a Bill and Charlie Monroe tune which is my favorite)
Greenlight on the Southern ( a more recent classic by Norman Blake which has become a bluegrass standard)
and did anyone mention City of New Orleans?

vl


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Banjer
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 10:32 AM

Van Lingle just metioned some I had forgotten!! Hank Sows golden Rocket and City Of New Orleans are great. I'll have to look for the Monroe song, I can't remember having heard it...!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: van lingle
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 11:12 AM

Also "Waiting on a Train" by Jimmy Rodgers and Mississippi John's version of "Casey Jones".

Banjer your likely to find that tune on one of the many Bill Monroe compilations out there. The only recording I have is on a cassette from God knows where. Let me know if you can't find it. vl


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 11:14 AM

little more thread drift...Hrothgar...Stargate is a tv series based on the movie of same title. It is not very good, but I was bored last night.:-) Some of the acting is not too bad, though...*g*


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Subject: ADD: Stranger On A Train (Bullfrog Jones)
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 11:58 AM

Lovely thread, and a beautiful piece from Spaw. Thank you. My dad was an an engineer too, graduating from fireman on the old GWR (Great Western Railway), then eventually he became an instructor, passing on his skills. We lived near the Tyseley engine sheds in Birmingham and I used to lie in bed listening to the sound of trains being shunted around at night. The memory of those sounds inspired a song I wrote called "Stranger On A Train", which although American in style was at least written in Britain!

Stranger on a Train

It was late and a cold north wind was blowing
The midnight train already overdue
I was six hours away from the place that I was going
An aching in my soul because of you

There was thunder rumbling somewhere in the night
As the southbound train pulled in across the track
When a sudden flash of lightning made the darkness bright
I was looking at a face and she was looking back
And in the lightning's glare I saw a vision of despair
And in that face I looked right through to another place
Where all the pain was just too much to bear

She was a stranger on a train
Seen for a second through a window streaked with rain
Tear-stained eyes and a mouth that spoke of pain
She's burned in my mind, now I always will remain
Haunted by a stranger on a train
Haunted by a stranger on a train

With a clash of steel and an old conductor calling
The southbound train pulled away in a cloud of steam
Well it may have been the night or the way the light was falling
But the face in the window seemed to vanish in a fading dream
But in the lightning's glare I'd seen a vision of despair
And in that face I looked right through to another place
Where all the pain was just too much to bear

She was a stranger on a train
Seen for a second through a window streaked with rain
Tear-stained eyes and a mouth that spoke of pain
She's burned in my mind, now I always will remain
Haunted by a stranger on a train
Haunted by a stranger on a train

BJ


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 06:56 PM

Lovely song Bullfrog....Tune please?
Thanks to all, this has been quite a read.
~JE


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,ely
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 10:30 PM

My mom just made me go see _Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron_. They destroyed a steam engine, which sort of spoiled the movie.

My great-grandfather worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad; somewhere, we have tickets for Franklin D Roosevelt's funeral train.

Trains were kind of a big deal when I was a kid in Colorado--there are quite a few antique engines still in operation for tourists, and some good museums. My college (Grinnell College, in central Iowa) had a train track running through campus--one semester, hopper cars would carry corn in one direction, and the next semester, Cargill Foods tankers would bring corn syrup back. Funny.

I always liked "Railroading on the Great Divide". I wrote a song when I was in high school about George Root, an engineer who drove his train through a wildfire in Hinckley, Minnesota, in 1894, to save his passengers. It's not a great song--I keep meaning to go back and see if I can fix it up.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Night Owl
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:49 AM

Just found this thread....beautiful memories you've got in you Spaw!

My mother was one of the children that those engineers you mentioned thrilled. Her eyes still sparkle when she talks about the engineer, who would blow the train's whistle to let her know he was coming. He gave her enough warning so that she could run out of the farmhouse......through the hay field and down the hill to the tracks....just in time to wave and get a smile and a wave back........AND another LOUD whistle.

I don't think my grandfather appreciated the trains as much as she did though. He had to walk a couple miles of track after the train came through to make sure there were no fires starting in the hay fields from the train's cinders.

Couple of other train songs......(apologies if I missed seeing them mentioned above)....

"Hobo's Lullaby"
"Daddy What's A Train"

and thanks, ely, for remembering "Great Divide"...it's a beautiful song on the autoharp.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 04:50 AM

Thanks Jen Ellen -- it's unrecorded at the moment but I'll let you know. All this talk of trains, here and in the Jimmie Rodgers threads had me getting up in the middle of the night to write a new song. It's a train-jumping-hobo-gospel-kinda thing, Jimmie Rodgers-style. I'll see if I can get this one recorded too, once I've finished tinkering and polishing.
Thanks for the inspiration!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: bob schwarer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 07:25 PM

Jerry: I used to live 3-4 blocks from the rail yards in Janesville. Remember the sound of the drivers slipping at 2AM. Never fished off a trestle but walked the one over the Rock River many times (the one along Jackson St). I'm still trying to find a picture of the old C&NW depot.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:40 AM

Bullfrog When I was working on the trains in London in the early 1970s, the old blokes who could remember the days before nationalisation of the railways in 1947 used to refer to the Great Western Railway as "God's Own Railway.' It had standards and an esprit de corps that can only be vaguely imagined today. Your dad was part of real railway history!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: JenEllen
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 11:14 AM

Great news, Bullfrog! Look forward to hearing the new songs as well. Congratulations.

I was doing some musical archeology last night, for a completely different brainstorm, but came across SO many songs I'd forgotten about. The one that's cruising on multiple plays today is Hank Williams' "Pan American"--beautiful train song.

Great stories folks, and great history. Thank you.

~JE


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:39 PM

Hi, Bob:

Wow! What a surprise to read your posting! There's a photograph of the railroad station in the booklet of my Folk Legacy album, Get Down Home which has the song, Milwaukee/St. Paul. When I started writing songs about my home town, I also spent some time at the Historical Society, gathering photographs, several others of which are in the booklet...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:50 PM

One of my favorite train songs is a new one from Leslie Smith.

Ghost on the High Rail

There's a ghost on the high rail tonight
No, he ain't what he used to be
His beard's harsh and gray, but he's still got those ways
Of a sixteen year old boy

You might have seen him in your own hometown
Whenever the moon paints a purple sky
Still dodging the bums and the cops and
the railroad bull's eye

But he don't matter much these days
He's the rattle of old steel from another time
Takes a veteran to love them rails anyway
Most of them are gone
Move along, Steam Train

That old ghost don't just appear to anyone
Mostly to the kids skipping stones across the track
He's carrying his bindle and his
tree-branch cane and derby hat
He's been spotted from Toledo to Chicago
They say he's searching for his true love, still
All he wanted was a fair paid wage
for a well-done skill

Don't it sound make-believe in these times
Like the rattle of of old steel down a rusted track
All the campfires are cold along the river bank
and the boxcars are gone for scrap

Five hundred miles, you'll know he's gone
You'll hear that whistle moaning on and on

His true love, she's lying abandoned
Down at that southside rail yard
They bring field trips of children to come see her
And some have even carved their names
In her stubborn old black frame
But that ghost he longs to set her free

And there ain't half a chance, not nowadays
She's the rattle of old steel from another time
Takes a vagabond to tell the story anyway
Most of them are gone
Move along, Steam Train

There's a ghost on the high rail tonight

The song is from Leslie's album These Things Wrapped, and the rest of the songs are just as good as this one.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: van lingle
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:49 PM

And from a recent thread the excellent "The Train That Carried Jimmy Rodgers Home" by Greg Brown.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: HuwG
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 08:50 AM

Hrothgar : Not that I dispute any of your post re. the Great Western, but folklore has it that it was frequently referred to as "God's wonderful Railway", a play on the initials, GWR.

Of the other railways in "the big four" (i.e. the four main regional groupings of railways in Britain, created via various amalgmations in the 1920's), the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) was sometimes referred to as "The London and Nearly Everywhere Railway", and the London, Midlands and Scottish Railway (LMSR) was apocryphally called "Long may Steam reign". The Southern Railways (SR) didn't give wags much scope for clever interpretation.

[Some jealous railwaymen had it that "GWR" stood for "Great Way Round". This was sheer slander; the GWR was easily the biggest single pre-amalgamation operator, and it took over only some small and easily-assimilated operators such as the Taff Vale Railway. The other members of the big four were each created from two, three or four equally-sized operators, and it took many years before they settled down to single standard procedures and equipment, if they ever did].

A good impression of life on British railways, made up of vignettes which span more than a century, is the book, "Red for Danger", by L.T.C. Rolt. If you can get it, that is; it has probably been out of print for years.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 09:23 AM

Great Way Round arose because Brunel's original broad gauge lines avoided steep gradients, going round obstacles rather than over them. (But he was not shy of tunnelling when necesssary to keep the track as flat as possible - i.e. Box).

Certainly the route from London to Exeter was a great way round via Swindon and Bristol until they built the line via Westbury (ca. 1900?). It is possible that the nickname was coined in circles not unconnected to the LSWR, whose route was much more direct, but by no means as level.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 10:08 AM

LeeJ, beautiful song, thanks!

Love hearing the stuff from across the pond, too, guys! Was the Red for Danger book written by Rolt? If so, there are several copies available at www.bookfinder.com

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 02:35 PM

Yes "Red for Danger" was writen by the late L C T Rolt. I have a copy myself. Interestingly R for D was ( and may be still is) used as a text book in the Insurance industry for prime examples of Chain of Causation.

Also worth reading for working life on the Railways is the late Gerry Fiennes "I tried to run a Railway"

Gareth.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: NoMattch
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:48 PM

If you want to hear a more recent tear-jerking train song, try "Trains and My Grandfather" by Brian MacNeil.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:54 PM

Re red for danger - the signals used on roads were based on those used on the railways

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: bob schwarer
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 04:34 PM

Jerry,

I've got that record(Get Down Home) around here somewhere. Don't know why I never noticed the depot. Maybe I did and just forgot.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:54 AM

Our PBS station showed a neat film on Trains of the Americn West, tonight. It was wonderful. One thing I remember is they said at one time there were over 20,000 steams trains running in this country; now, there are only about 200.

One of the engineers who considers himself lucky to be working one of the old ones said people who know him joke that when he dies, he will be cremated and they will put his ashes in the firebox and let him go up with the coal smoke! (there's a song in that!)

There was another thing mentioned which I am going to put in a different thread as I'd like to see if anyone knows of any songs about it. Watch for it...I will include "train" in the thread title.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 03:57 AM

Old friend and co-producer of my '98 CD, Paul Stamler, recently sent me a link to a song which could (possibly) be the missing link to where "Wabash Cannonball came from. It might've been more recent than we thought----like from the first third of the 20th century or so. I'll dig that up if I can and try to present the link here. Kind of fascinating.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:12 AM

Pat, I just read your long post and it is special beyond words. Thanks to Kat for pointing me to this thread. My last day on the steamboat came back to me as I read it. I could smell the steam, see Paul Anton polishing the dials down at the engineers station, see the long flow of the Pittman Arms as they turned the huge red paddlewheel. And most of all, I could see Denny Trone and John Hartford up in the pilot house struggling together to hold the wheel against the massive force of a half dissipated hurricane that had, like an invisible and gigantic python come blowing up Mississippi River from the Gulf Of Mexico to hit us broadside and force the starboard rail to touch the water and then right itself shaking and spraying showers like some great and wet dog (to borrow an image from Stan Rogers in "White Squawl".) A hand hold from the wheel broke off in John's hand just as the worst gust of that splendid and sublime and terrific (in the best use of that word meaning terrifying) hit the five rudders and nearly tore the wheel from their exhausted hands. I had to jump up off the lazy bench and help with the wheel. The broken hand-hold wound up in my pocket, and it still sits on my desk in front of me as I write this.

The Julia Belle Swain had to be sold by it's builder Dessis Trone because of extreme financial pressure and hardship caused by the early advent of gambling boats on the venerable Mississippi---circa 1993. The J.B.S. used 800 gallons of fuel for it's 2-day excursion trips. The diesel boat, Twilight used a fraction of that --- so the decision was made to divest. The last trip I was there as a folkiesinger on the stemboat was a hard one for me. The mate had taken a piece of the red paddlewheel and inscribed it to me with the blue paint that covered the decks of that good vessel. A tear (or two) did eascape right then---but heading home the 70 miles from the river I had to pull over a few times and let it all come out. ------------- The back of John's fiddle was inscribed with the words of one of his main mentors, Captain Fred Way.

--- "Nothing is real but the river, and all else is sham.

A photo I took of that fiddle-back is in a frame above my desk too. For river people, that is pretty much a true statement. The river is the only reality even though Eisenhower's superhighways roar just beyond the trees along the riverbanks.

Today I took my electric powered scooter, the one the National MS Society amazingly and thankfully gave me, the one with enough POWER to climb the bluffs here from the Illinois River that flows so beautifully past our town, and I again descended to the river as I try to do on any half-way pleasant day. A beat up old diesel with about six old cars pulled up in front of me, stopped, and blocked my view of the river. I was content to look at the train and try to decipher the autographs of hobos inscribed on the cars. The train pulled back, though, seemingly, to give me my view again -- and the crew descended and went into the Maze Lumber Yard for some air conditioned talk and a Coke or two. When they came out again, I gave them the two-handed wave that rivermen use to salute each other-----and the train went on it's way saluting me with the whistle----two longs, two shorts and a final long and excruciatingly mournful blast. I hadn't realized diesel engines could do that. Only the Julia Belle Swain could emulate the old steaboat's whistles I had thought.-------- It was an honor to be proven wrong.

Yeah, Pat, I know just a bit of what you're talking about. Thanks for your lovely and heartfelt remembrance of your dad. It was wonderful.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:32 AM

Sorry for the thread drift folks. I guess steamboats ain't trains. But steam is steam is steam as Va. Wolf mighta said if sh'e been here to read this thread. And I'm sorry about my lousy spelling. Some day Max will get a spell checker here at Mudcat. We are moving and my dictionary is packed away.

And, oh, yes, I meant to write DENNIS Trone-----not Dessis Trone. It was Dennis Trone who designed and built the Julia Belle Swain. The old girl has a new owner now, but she got her lifeforce and her loveforce from Denny. Yeah, Pat, she IS, as you said, alive. Funny thing about those steam engines...

Art Thieme (up late tonight)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 06:42 AM

Thanks for the tip about bookfinder, kat. I used to have a copy of Red for Danger. Somebody else must have liked it, too.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: HuwG
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 07:46 AM

I'm surprised and glad to see that so many people are fond of Red for Danger. Tony Rolt had a gift for bringing a subject alive, which isn't shared by too many authors on technical or learned subjects. Bruce Catton (historian on the American Civil War) and Isaac Asimov shared this gift, in my humble opinion.

Before I start thread drift ...

My childhood was spent in the declining years of steam, and one of my memories is of myself running around in frantic circles on the platform at Bridgend (Penybont) station in South Wales, trying to beat out my hair which a cinder from a passing locomotive had just set alight. We may lament the passing of steam, but many fires (and Michael Jackson impressions !) were caused by sparks from steam engines. [Note: the offending locomotive was one of the hundreds of hard-worked 0-6-0 pannier tank engines used in Wales and elsewhere on the Great Western].

One other interesting point; the family later settled in North Yorkshire, where my little brother still lives; he and his family bought and renovated an old railway house. It looks no different to many country farm buildings, but the track bed still exists. It gives excellent scope for exercise for dogs, horses, children (and uncles and grandparents !)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 10:17 AM

Art, what a wonderful story, FineArt, as always. Thank you!

You're welcome, Hrothgar...someone here pointed me to bookfinder a few years ago and I like to pass it on.

HuwG...it's great to hear about other places, too. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,IanB, as a Guest
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:08 PM

You never forget the smell of a steam train. We were deep into Germany last year, and from somewhere I sensed that curious mix of steam and coal and oil and thought 'steam engine!' And sure enough, along came a preservation special.

Amazing how a momentary sniff can bring memories instantly back into focus.

- ian B


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:46 PM

Thank you Art for the kind words and even more for your great posting as well. You took me there beside you....Beautiful.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,Guest - Carl Ellis
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 03:27 PM

The descriptions of your British Railroads' nicknames reminds me of my favorite here in Vermont, USA. The original builders of a railroad out of Saint Johnsbury, on the the Connecticut, on the eastern side of the state, had a western terminus at Lake Champlain in mind, so their road began its life as the Saint Johnsbury & Lake Champlain. When the money got scarce, it was found that it had reached, or nearly, Lamoille County, so it was able to remain the SJ&LC. To parties awaiting its arrival nearer Lake Champlain, it became the Slow as Jesus & Long Coming, or Slow as Jusus' Last Coming. It is now long since dead.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 05:31 PM

Seeing as this thread has been refreshed after a long dormancy, it's perhaps worth pointing out that one reason why Dave Goulder wrote his railway songs was the dearth of them in Britain. Of course he also has the talent for song writing and personal experience of working as a fireman.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 07:22 PM

Taken from a book of Graffiti we had some years ago (now lost, sadly).

Painted on a Railway Bridge over the line between Darlington and Middlesbrough/Stockton

Jesus Christ is Coming

to which someone had added underneath

Only if he remembers to change at Darlington!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Clontarf83
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 11:35 PM

Don't think anyone has mentioned the classic "Freight Train"

My brother (RIP) was a train fan and railway historian in Ireland. He loved to videotape steam engines (out on loan for the day to the historical society) roaring across green valleys at full stretch. Looked like serious carbon emissions, with hindsight...


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 12:02 AM

Clontarf, will any of his videos be available online, ever? That's really neat that he captured the history.

Tootler, LOL!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:11 AM

if you really love trains you should join the travellers on the Cowboy Train or other train trips organized by Flying Under Radar. See the schedule at www.flyingunderradar.com. some are cross-canada trips, some are on the California Coast Starlight, and others are old fashioned steam trains in the Rocky Mountains or even in the Copper Canyon in Mexico!! Some trains take artists and canvas and paints to scenic destinations or even to see polar bears. Roots on the Rails can be seen at this web site It is kind of like re-enacting this movie:
http://www.festivalexpress.com/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:15 AM

This is a fun thread. I've never had an 'intimate' relationship with a train but even at that, trains hold somewhat the same mystique for me as a plane or a ship. All three speak to me of the far reaches.

In 1949 when I was 13 I moved with my family from Oregon to Virginia. We traveled by train. Most of the trains we were on were steam but I remember the first diesel train I saw. My parents were rather disdainful of the diesel and I tried to be, too, but I thought it looked very sleek and clean. I wasn't sure what the problem was...

I know a train song that not too many people do- or at least no one that I know.

It was written by Phil Halliday, a Canadian, and he called it 'That Train Song'.

It goes:

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 its clickety clack
All day long I'd run along side
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 pointing straight ahead.

It's a cool song. Does anyone else know it?


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:35 AM

Tom Hunter sang a kid's song based on a sign in a train.
It has hand gestures and is a fun one.

To stop the train in cases of emergency
pull on the cord, pull on the cord
penalty for improper use 5 pounds.

it makes a fun song to sing as a round


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:38 AM

There's a guy who has hung around the Stratford Ontario Canada train station for at least 30 years. Talks incessantly about trains. Interesting character. Love or OCD?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 09:43 AM

Dave Goulder has written manyn wonderful railway songs. There is a new compilation CD of his railway songs available, it's called The Golden Days of Steam.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:43 PM

I first heard this done by Belle Monroe and her Brewglass Boys (how's that for a great band name?), and later heard Doc Watson doing it on his album of train songs. The melody for the verse is the same as Merle Haggard used for the verses of "Mama Tried," and the last two lines of the chorus also use that tune. I find the subdominant seventh chords do a good job of suggesting the sound of the steam whistle.


The Greenville Trestle

       C                   F7                   C                         F7
I remember as a boy how in wonderment and joy
      C                                                 G7
I'd watch the trains as they'd go by
                   C                            F7                           C                            F7   
And the whistle's lonesome sound you could hear from miles around
                C                               G7                         C
As they rolled across that Greenville Trestle high.

(Chorus)
                   F7                              C
   But the whistles don't sound like they used to
             A7                                           G7
   And lately not so many trains go by
             C                            F7                      C                               F7
   Hard times across the land mean no work for a railroad man
                      C                           G7                              C
   And the Greenville Trestle now don't seem so high.

On the riverbank I'd stand with a cane pole in my hand
And watch the freight trains up against the sky
With the black smoke trailing back as they moved along the track
That runs across that Greenville Trestle high.

When the lonesome whistles whined I'd get rambling on my mind
Lord I wish they still sounded that way
As I turned to head for home Lord she'd rumble low and long
Toward the sunset at the close of day.

Another good Doc Watson railroad song I haven't seen mentioned here is the following:

The Wreck of 1262

She just left Dupoint at Chikahmee, the freight numbered 1262,
And on down the mountain she traveled, so brave were the men in her crew.

Then the engineer pulled at the whistle, for the brakes wouldn't work when applied,
And the brakeman climbed out on the car-top, for he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him, he tightened those brakes with a prayer,
But the train went right on down that mountain, her whistle still piercing the air.

She traveled at 60 an hour, gaining speed every foot of the way,
And then with a crash it was over, and there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage, or the value of what the wreck caused,
It's the sad scene they found in the cabin, where the lives of two brave men were lost,

They found them at their post in the wreckage, where they died when the engine had fell,
The engineer still held the whistle, and the fireman still clung to the bell.

Now this story is told of a freight train, but it should be a warning to all
We need to be prepared every moment, for we can never tell when He'll call.

Doc's "Lonesome Jailhouse Blues" has a couple of railroad references and uses the same tune as "Golden Rocket" for the verses and the last two lines of the chorus.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:51 PM

Sorry. Previous times I've entered chords with the lyrics, they stayed in the right place, but in the song above they spread out a bit too much. I think you can figure out where they go by matching them to the accents in the lines.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:34 PM

Greenville Y reminds me of a trestle near here....between Greenville and Quincy near Keddie. It crosses over the Spanish Creek.
here are a couple of pix and flix of the Keddie Wye Trestle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc8F9rmMwGY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRVgSEGfHKA

i think this is the train track featured in an episode of Lassie
the dog show http://episodes.lassieweb.org/lassodsy.htm

included on this page is a pic of one of the most photographed bridges
just a couple miles from me (as the crow flies) Pulga Bridges
where hiway 70 and the rr trax cross the feather river. Pulga is Spanish for flea.

http://www.californiazephyr.org/resource_library/photo_archive/albums/frc_railfans_view.php


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 03:13 PM

I can't think of any UK train songs that haven't been mentioned, but I must compliment Spaw on his terrific posting. Maybe you could have a look at this Spaw? It's a link to the men of Lostock Hall, which was the last steam depot in the UK (last service train 4th August 1968)

http://www.lostockhallmpd.org.uk/men.html

The whole site is really good, done by a chap called Alan Castle who photographed steam in the 60s and is still at it!

I know that these locomotives might look a bit Mickey Mouse compared to a Pennsylvania K4s, but the spirit of the enginemen was just the same as Spaw's description of his Dad. Unbelievably, well over a hundred of the old steam men turned up for a reunion recently; some in their 70s and 80s, some from abroad, most for the beer!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 03:34 PM

Oh, and I was so caught up with adding some songs that neglected to mention Spaw's sublime account and Art's great story about helping John Hartford* and the other pilot keep the steamer from going aground in the hurricane. Good on yer, lads.

Charles

*I don't think I'd like to ride out a hurricane in a deck chair on a Steam Powered Aereoplane.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 04:11 PM

I know that these locomotives might look a bit Mickey Mouse compared to a Pennsylvania K4s

Nothing quite prepares you for the scale of American trains. I visited the Ford Museum in Detroit a few years back and in the hall I first went into I was confronted by a Malet Loco and I was completely stunned by the sheer size of it. Not even European trains are that big and they are quite a bit larger than ours.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 07:58 PM

Has this been mentioned?

The Scholar
Maura O'Connell

The train from Sligo moves too slow as it brings her from the school below
She wants to be home faster than the train from Sligo ever can and
Wonders where the passing time goes creeping by the window my, oh my
It's getting longer than it ever has before.

Eyes wide as silver dollars, I can't think why, but she's a scholar
Hold on; it seems so long to learn what's right from what is wrong.
Oh, school books and fancy collars; I might not care to be a scholar
Hold on, her daddy tells her, learn to sing your song.

The train to Sligo moves too fast when holidays are gone at last
And winter nights are here again, please promise me you'll write me then.
It's two long weeks till I get home, I can't help feeling all alone.
If someone doesn't write me soon I'll simply fade away.

Eyes wide as silver dollars, I can't think why, but she's a scholar
Hold on; it seems so long to learn what's right from what is wrong.
Oh, school books and fancy collars; I might not care to be a scholar
Hold on, her daddy tells her, learn to sing your song.

(Not sure of lyric accuracy.)

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:01 PM

Also really dig Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railway Trilogy.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 01:42 PM

My father worked for the Great Northern Railway in Montana from the time he was 14 years old, in 1916, carrying railroad ties, to his retirement when he was 65, just before the Great Northern merged with the Northern Pacific and Burlington Route.

Many of those memories have inspired paintings and are the subject of some of my work. Lately I've done some small paintings this month and posted them online. The logo of the Great Northern on a pin, the old depots, etc.


Click Here For Images and my memories.

I remember going with my dad on Saturdays down to the depot in Helena, MT, where he would do paperwork and check on things while no one else was around. I would play with the big staplers and rubber stamps. The wood floors would creak, the freight room would be cold and stacked with crates.

Montana lost most of its passenger trains. We only have the one left on the highline that goes from the east through Glacier Park to Seattle. I wish the passenger trains would come back in the rest of the state. We have freight trains going through our town day and night, "hear that lonesome whistle blow".

Alice


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Clontarf83
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 08:04 PM

Katlaughing--re your inquiry about train videos by my brother Norman McAdams--try the website of the Irish Railway Record Society, and see if anyone can send you stuff

http://www.irrs.ie/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 03:34 AM

Alice--it is great to hear about your dad and the trains! Also great to see all the paintings you have been creating lately! I remember
the RR station in Livingston (i presume?) having symbols like yin
yang in red and black. What rr line went thru there? I think it was
the symbol logo for the rr line. perhaps it stood for the meeting of the east and west...the northern pacific....
http://www.timslife.com/images/shop/shop11/wint13.jpg


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:45 PM

The yin/yang symbol in red and black was the logo of the Northern Pacific. It was the line along the southern part of Montana, so it went through Bozeman and Livingston. The passenger depot in Livingston was preserved and is used by the community now for a museum, and for art festivals, etc.


Livingston Depot Center

In Bozeman, the freight depot for the Northern Pacific was refurbished by a local restaurant company called Montana Ale Works. They use the yin yang logo and have old railroad photos framed inside the building and a railroad car along side as an outdoor room in good weather.
Montana Ale Works

Alice


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM

direct link to the blog railroad paintings


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 06:30 PM

Best Link to see the old Northern Pacific building


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 07:46 PM

I still include several train songs in every set... Come a long way since postin' to this thread back on '02... But still love tarins and train songs... BTW, my mom's father (my grandaddy) was an engineer... Okay, it wasn't all that romant6ic... He pushed and pulled cars all around Detroit...

And just like this train
I'm stuck on this line
Couldn't quit now
Even if I tried

(from one of my oldest songs, "Amtrack Blues" from the 60s and written on a train from New York to DC...)...

B~


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM

Just over four months since the last posting! I stumbled across the thread after a "follow your nose" session on Mudcat.

My comments - the two big names of UK railway songs have been mentioned, Ewan McColl and Dave Goulder. I shouilkd add Don Bilston I'm told (also mentioned above - but I'm not familiar withy his songs.

The big difference in theme between US and UK songs,quite rightly, have been pointed out as (US) stories of people traveling around, with the train as the backdrop rather than the subject' (UK) stories of railway WORKERS; about the job, lamenting the change in technology with modernization.

More recently, we've had the PRESERVATION movement as a subject. Its happened in many countries with a strong railway tradition - but nowhere more than in Britain. Indeed I heard a song about a preserved railway within a few weeks of discovering folk clubs (1973) - having already written some myself whilst still involved with pop bands!

*My song "So Ride With Me", about the Watercress Line/Mid-Hants Railway was recorded (in 1975 I think) by band "Muffin The Mule" (seriously!) on Forest Track Records. Another: "We're All For Swanage" was recorded by Dorset band: Cottage Industry in the early 1980s.

I have 11 railway songs in my current repertoire - learning/relearning more in 2011.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM

Ten Thousand Miles from Home
and, of course, I've Been Working on the Railroad


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 04:39 AM

Favourite train song? Since my main interest is calypso, I first thing I turn up in my head is "New York Subway."


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: David C. Carter
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:49 AM

"Southern Flyer" by:Lonesome EJ. That's a great song!

Sorry...Can't do Blue Sticky Clickies.

David.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Max Johnson
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 09:50 AM

It is odd, yes, that there are so few British folk songs about trains. Especially when you consider the fact that Sir Nigel Gresley rhymes so nicely with Elvis Presley. But they are celebrated in poetry of course, two of the best-known being 'Adelstrop' and 'The Night Mail'.

Favourite songs are:
Smokestack Lightnin',
Fulsome Prison Blues, and
The Ballad of the FFV.

Favourite train film is 'The Train', starring Burt Lancaster.

...and may I take this opportunity to recommend Andrew Martin's 'Railway Detective' books, set on the Victorian and Edwardian railways?


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM

There are a few British Isle railway songs in "The Shuttle and Cage: Industrial Folk Ballads" ed. Ewan MacColl:
* Poor Paddy Works on the Railway
* The Iron Hrose ("...I gaed upon an iron road, a rail they did it ca', man, an' rugget be an iron horse, an awfu' beast to draw, man")
* The Fireman's not for me ("Come all you young maidens, take warning from me, Shun all engine firemen and their company; He'll tell you he loves you and all kinds of lies, But the one that he loves is the train that he drives"; this one's by MacColl himself I think.

Others I can think of:
* Are ye right there Michael, are ye right, by Percy French - I've heard my father singing this, he does a very good rendition of it.
* A New Song on the Opening of the Birmingham to Liverpool Railway in Roy Palmer's A Touch on the Times

There's an album by Harry Boardman et al which sounds like it has lots of interesting railway songs from the British Isles on it: Steam Ballads (about half way down that page)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 08:31 PM

Just taken another look at "The Shuttle and Cage" and seen even more:
* Moses of the Mail ("It was a dark and stormy night, the snow was falling fast, I stood on Thorpebridge junction where the reckless Moses passed")
* Cosher Bailey's engine ("Cosher Bailey had an engine, It was always wanting mending, And according to her power she could do four mile an hour")
* Cannily, cannily

Not a bad little haul, six railway songs in one little book!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 01:38 AM

Railroad Photographer Richard Steinheimer died in Sacramento on May 4, 2011. You can see some of his wonderful railroad photography with this Google search (click)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,EJL
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 03:41 PM

To add to this train song discussion, I have written three train songs, one of them for my grandfather who worked in the shops "When The Steam Trains Rolled". Another, a lament called "Trains Don't Run Here Anymore", both on my first CD. The third song is "National Dream" which is about almost the same thing. Train service has all but disappeared in Eastern Canada and other parts of this country. Rail lines are now walking trails, so we went from trails to rails to trails. Check this site for lots of Canadian Train Songs:

http://www.irontrail.ca/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 11:12 AM

The (West)german rock singer Udo Lindenberg was so pissed off about the then GDR Government refusing him permission to tour in the GDR that he rewrote "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" as "Der Sonderzug nach Pankow". Pankow is the district of (East)Berlin where the GDR Government was located. This was not long before 'The Wall' started to collapse.

I've written a couple of songs that have trains or railways somewhere in the text: "Parcels Joe" based on a story I read concerning the marshalling yard and loco shed at Rowsley, Derbyshire...and "Rolling Wheels" which is vaguely american influenced-a sort of 'hear that whistle down in the valley below' song. I'm ttrying to get them out to a wider public...........

There is a swedish song called "Jag är födda i en stuga"(I was born in a cabin) which deals with a navvy's life building railways. Sweden also has some shanty/chain-gang like work songs from navvies and track gangs.


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