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Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor

Related thread:
Lyr Req: riding down from bangor (8) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Eastern Train (from Read "Em and Weep (Spaeth))
The Student in a Tunnel (from Song Fest (Best))


GUEST,Tyghress@aol.com 27 Sep 02 - 06:29 PM
Snuffy 27 Sep 02 - 07:46 PM
Mudlark 27 Sep 02 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Tyghress 27 Sep 02 - 10:30 PM
Mudlark 28 Sep 02 - 01:02 AM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM
masato sakurai 28 Sep 02 - 03:58 AM
Snuffy 28 Sep 02 - 09:00 AM
masato sakurai 28 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM
Mudlark 28 Sep 02 - 02:47 PM
Nigel Parsons 28 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM
Nigel Parsons 28 Sep 02 - 05:16 PM
Joe_F 29 Sep 02 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,ElizabethMacgurn@aol.com 05 Oct 04 - 04:00 PM
Flash Company 06 Oct 04 - 04:39 AM
M.Ted 06 Oct 04 - 01:23 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Oct 04 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,John Spence 14 Nov 04 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,mgsuhling 07 Oct 05 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Diana Dioszeghy in Frankfurt/Main, Germany 17 Feb 06 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Allen Strike, Port Hope ,Canada 30 Jul 06 - 06:27 PM
Barry Finn 31 Jul 06 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,David Silver 31 Dec 06 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Brian Kirby 16 Aug 08 - 05:11 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM
Mr Happy 11 Feb 10 - 08:43 AM
Cuilionn 11 Feb 10 - 08:54 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Feb 10 - 10:03 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Feb 10 - 05:09 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Jill 05 Apr 10 - 07:05 PM
GUEST 04 Aug 10 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,tress backhouse 20 Oct 11 - 12:47 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM
RoyH (Burl) 11 Nov 11 - 03:21 AM
Charley Noble 11 Nov 11 - 09:26 PM
Charley Noble 11 Nov 11 - 09:32 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 11 - 04:13 PM
GUEST 09 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 22 Jul 15 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Stevebury 22 Jul 15 - 02:30 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Jul 15 - 10:24 PM
Les in Chorlton 24 Jul 15 - 04:58 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 15 - 04:25 PM
Nigel Parsons 24 Jul 15 - 07:44 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Jul 15 - 10:56 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Jul 15 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Bob Wallington Kingston area, formerly of Ot 06 Mar 16 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Nila Aronow 02 Sep 16 - 08:35 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Aug 17 - 05:14 PM
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Subject: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: GUEST,Tyghress@aol.com
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:29 PM

I remember a tune my father used to sing about a Harvard man sharing a train car with a lady, and they go into a tunnel. Upon exitting, the lady's earring is found in the Harvard man's beard.

Anyone able to fill in the details?

Also see Daytrip to Bangor/The Day We Went to Bangor


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 07:46 PM

We were taught this at school (England) in the 60s, but I've never heard it since:

Riding down from Bangor on an Eastern train
After weeks of hunting in the woods of Maine
Quite extensive whiskers, beard, moustache as well
Sat a student fellow, neat and trim and swell

Then an elderly couple come aboard with a beautiful young lady, and the rest is as you detailed.

It appears to be called "Riding down from Bangor" and Google will get you quite a few sites with the words or some history.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STUDENT IN A TUNNEL
From: Mudlark
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 07:54 PM

Called The Student in a Tunnel. This is from an old book, words almost as my mother sang them, tho I think she used Harvard, rather than Princeton, as well, and at the end an earring...

THE STUDENT IN A TUNNEL

Coming home from Bangor, on a Pullman train
From six weeks of fishing, off the coast of Maine
Whiskers well extended, young mustache as well
Enter Princeton student, tall and dark and swell.

Empty seat behind him, no one at his side
Sets him down in silence for a lonely ride
Enter aged couple, take the hindmost seat;
Enter pretty maiden, bashful and petite.

Blushingly she falters, "Is this seat engaged?"
Sees the aged couple, rightfully enraged
Gallant Princeton student, says he'll see her through
Thinks he of the tunnel, and what he will do

On they ride in silence, while the cinders fly
Till the Princeton student gets one in his eye
Maiden sympathetic, turns herself about,
"Kind sir, may I help you try to get it out?"

When the Princeton student feels her gentle touch
And she gently murmurs, "Do I hurt you much?"
Then that Princeton student laughs with might and main
As into glorious darkness rides the Pullman train

Da da da...next verse da'da'd through

Out into the daylight rides the Pullman train
Maiden's hair is ruffled, just a tiny grain
Student's hair is tousled, tie is messed as well
Tiny hairpin in mustache, doesn't he look swell.

(maybe last line "Her earring in his mustache, doesn't...)

No date or attribution in book...

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: GUEST,Tyghress
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 10:30 PM

Many, Many thanks to you both! You put a smile on my face!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 01:02 AM

It's got a great bouncing tune, doesn't it. With Victorian innuendo...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM

What book did you find it in, Mudlark?
An index showed me it's in the "Songfest" songbook, but I can't find my copy of the book.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 03:58 AM

(1) Also posted HERE (lyrics--riding down from bangor).

(2) From Norm Cohen, Long Steel Rail (pp. 50-52):

The second romantic ballad referred to above, "The Harvard Student" (to use the title Vance Randolph gives it), is a lighter-hearted ditty about a bearded student and a blushing maiden who take adjacent seats on the railroad train "riding down from Bangor." When the train emerges from a long tunnel, one of the maiden's dainty earrings is tangled in the student's beard. Spaeth, remarking on the song's popularity during the 1890s, says that the correct title is "The Eastern Train" and that it was supposedly of Scots origin. It is often titled "Riding Down from Bangor" and credited to Louis Shreve Osborne. It was published in songsters of the 1880s as "On the Pullman Train." The earliest printing I have found is in an 1871 issue of the Harvard Advocate, where the song was titled "In the Tunnel" and credited to "S.O.L." These initials are puzzling inasmuch as they are, in incorrect order, Louis Shreve Osborne. There was a Louis S. Osborne at Harvard in 1871 who was a poet, but whether he was "S.O.L." I have not been able to determine. Nor do I know who was responsible for setting the text to music.

(3) The sheet music in the Levy Collection is (pages 1 & 4 wouldn't come up, though):

Title: The Popular College Song. Riding Down From Bangor.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Arranged by S.E. Farwell.
Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson Company, 1881.
Form of Composition: strophic
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Riding down from Bangor, On an eastern train

(4) Folk Music Index:

Riding Down from Bangor - Osborne, Louis Shreve
1. Marais and Miranda. Wine of Gaul, Decca DL 8791, LP (1959), cut#B.01
2. Marais and Miranda. Ballads of Many Lands, Decca DL 5268, LP (195?), cut#A.04

(5) The Traditional Ballad Index: Harvard Student, The (The Pullman Train):

Harvard Student, The (The Pullman Train)

DESCRIPTION: As the train pulls into a village, a girl gets on and openly sits next to the "tall and stout and swell" (Harvard student). He gets "soot" in his eye; she offers to remove it. They enter a tunnel, and after kissing sounds her earring is found in his beard
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (Harvard Advocate)
KEYWORDS: courting train humorous
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 391, "The Harvard Student" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 218-320, "The Harvard Student" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 391)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 109-110, "The Eastern Train" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #7617
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Pullman Train
In the Tunnel
Notes: According to Cohen, the 1871 printing in the Harvard Advocate is credited to "S. O. L." It was printed under the title "In the Tunnel." - RBW
File: R391

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 09:00 AM

Thanks Masato, the version that Tony Burns posted on that earlier thread is the one I (pertly) remember - just a "student fellow" with no alma mater specified.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EASTERN TRAIN
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 12:10 PM

From Sigmund Spaeth, Read 'Em and Weep: The Songs You Forgot to Remember (Doubleday, 1927, pp. 122-123; with music):

THE EASTERN TRAIN
This song, also known as The Pullman Train, is said to have originated in Scotland, but is now thoroughly Americanized. There are many versions, although everyone agrees as to the main facts of the charmingly romantic story.
The editor [i.e., Spaeth] first heard it in the late 'Nineties (when it was already an old song) while camping in the Thousand Islands, wherew it was part of the extensive repertoire of the Macgurn sisters, now living in Detroit. [...]

Coming down1 from Bangor on an Eastern2 train,
After weeks3 of hunting in the woods4 of Maine,
Quite extensive whiskers, light mustache as well,
Sits a student fellow, tall and fair and swell.

Empty seat behind him, no one at his side,
As into a pleasant station the Eastern train doth glide.
Enter agèd couple, take the hindmost seat,
Enter lovely maiden, bewitching and petite.

Blushingly she murmured, "Is this seat engaged?"
See the elder couple properly enraged!
Student, quite delighted, sees her ticket "through,"
Thinks him of the tunnel and knows what he will do.

So they sit and chatter, as the cinders fly,
Until the student fellow gets one into his eye.
Maiden, sympathetic, turns her quick about
And says, "Sir, if you please, may I try to take it out?"

Soon the student fellow feels her gentle touch,
And hears her soft murmur, "Does it hurt you much?"
Whiz! bang! boom! Into the the tunnel quite,
And all is glorious darkness, as black as Egypt's night.

Out into the daylight glides the Eastern train,
Student's hair is ruffled just the slightest grain,
Maiden is all blushes,5 and there next appeared
A tiny little ear-ring, caught in student's beard!

1Or "up" as the case may be.
2This became eventually a "Pullman train," although that type of car would have made the story impossible.
3The Macgurns sang "six months' shooting."
4Or "wilds."
5This and the preceding line are something sung "Student's beaver's ruffled, etc. Maiden's hair is rumpled."

~Masato


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old tune about a Harvard man. . .
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 02:47 PM

Joe...Song Fest it is, edited by Dick/Beth Best. Across the bottom is "Intercollegiate Outing Club Association." The preface says it's a collection of songs sung by the above IOCA. The editors list some songs they couldn't include because of copyright difficulties, including the Ann Bolyn Song, Whiffenpoof Song, Casey Jones, and other well-known chestnuts. Mine is the 4th Edition, published in '57, and is in pieces...I have to keep it in an envelope.
    Oh, I have two editions of Song Fest - 1948 and 1955, I think....I just can't find them on the shelf at the moment. I'm sure they are within twenty feet of where I'm sitting. -Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: RIDING DOWN FROM BANGOR (parody)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM

The following parody is based on the N. Wales Bangor.
Nigel

RIDING DOWN FROM BANGOR

Riding down from Bangor isn't, kindly note
Always quite as pleasant as the poet wrote
In a third class carriage with a third class smell,
Sat a student fellow, thought the journey hell.

Carriage rather crowded, 13 on each side
Into beastly station horrid train did glide
Eight repellent children got in rather quick
Followed by another who immediately was sick.

Stopping at each station in between them too
Buffet car had vanished left behind at Crewe
Female with bronchitis keeps the window shut
Atmosphere resembles Black Hole of Calcut.

On through dreary country chugs that weary train
Children writing rude words on the window pane
Enter village maiden innocent and pure
Also lots of land-girls, smelling of manure.

Seven hours in tunnel black as Egypt's night
Land-girls scream and giggle, children yell with fright
Cut into the daylight train at last appears
Blushing village maidens boxes student's ears.

Sordid court case follows, story is unfurled
Details all reported in News of the World
Moral a la Belloc's "Cautionary Tales":
When riding down from Bangor, don't go off the rails.

Notes: found in the "Bangor Scout & Guide Club" songbook, from the University college of North Wales. (Book printed March 1970)

NP


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Subject: RE: lyrics--riding down from bangor
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 05:16 PM

Sorry, failed to note; Author not named
Last verse 3rd line should read "Moral a la Belloc's "Cautionary Tales""

Nigel


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Subject: RE: lyrics--riding down from bangor
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 01:08 AM

George Orwell wrote a longish & amusing essay on this song. As he points out, the primitiveness of the train (flying cinders, and no lights) presumably puts the story, if not the song, back in the 1840s or so.


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,ElizabethMacgurn@aol.com
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 04:00 PM

Just curious - who were the singing Macgurn Sisters of tbe Thousand Islands (and later of Detroit)in the late 1900's? We have two aunts, Georgian Olive Macgurn (born 1878) and Elizabeth Macgurn Devoe (born 1880), whose father came from Kingston, Canada, near the Thousand Islands and moved to Detroit at the turn of the century. Is that them?


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: Flash Company
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:39 AM

Nigel- I love the North Wales variant, wish I was still singing!
I seem to hear the voice of Frank Crumit in my head when I think of this one, haven't seen him mentioned above though.

FC


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:23 PM

Frank Crumit did record this song, in fact, it's the only recorded version that I know of--obviously a rather old song, as the ride through the tunnel was long enough to allow time for "Whiz! Bang! Boom!"


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 03:45 PM

Marais and Miranda sang a version similar to the first given here, though different in some details.

One I remember is in the last verse, viz.:

Maiden seen all blushes
When then and there appeared
A tiny little earring
In that horrid student's beard!


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EASTERN TRAIN
From: GUEST,John Spence
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 10:00 AM

I was introduced to this song about 1945 by my Scottish Mother, who had our Cub Scout Den perform a skit for the year-end Pack Meeting. The words as best I remember them were:

THE EASTERN TRAIN

Riding down from Bangor on an Eastern train,
After weeks of hunting in the woods of Maine,
Quite extensive whiskers, beard, mustache as well,
Sat a student fellow, tall and slim and swell.

Empty seat behind him, no one at his side,
Into quiet village Eastern train doth glide.
Enter agèd couple, take the hindmost seat,
Enter pretty maiden, beautiful, petite.

Blushingly she murmured, "Is this seat engaged?"
Sees the aged couple properly enraged!
Student, quite ecstatic, sees her ticket "through,"
Thinks of the long tunnel, thinks what he will do.

So they sit and chatter, how the cinders fly,
Until the student fellow gets one in his eye.
Maiden, sympathetic, turns herself about
"May I if you please sir, try to take it out?"

Soon the student fellow feels her gentle touch,
And hears her softly murmur, "Does it hurt you much?"
Whiz! bang! boom! Into the tunnel quite,
And all its glorious darkness, as black as Egypt's night.

Out into the daylight glides the Eastern train,
Student's hair is ruffled just the slightest grain,
Maiden seen all blushes when then and there appeared
A tiny little earring in that horrid student's beard!


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,mgsuhling
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 08:08 PM

My husband was taught this ballad by his great aunt, Evie williams from lynchburg, va.
this fellow was a harvard student.


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Diana Dioszeghy in Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 04:33 PM

My father used to sing this song when making breakfast and because as an English child I know nothing of Bangor in Maine USA, I thought it meant Bangor in Wales, which of course is in the West, and couldn't imagine why it wasn't a Western train! It was only many years later that I found out what the song was about!


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Allen Strike, Port Hope ,Canada
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 06:27 PM

On a whim I put "Riding down from Bangor" into the search engine and found your site. It answered a casual hunt that I have carried on for many years. When I was about ten we used to sing this song in Elementary School. That is sixty years ago. I did not remember its naughtiness because in those simpler times we were allowed to be innocent children. I do remember that the teacher stressed to us that this was about Bangor, Maine, in the United States, and not the Bangors in Australia, Canada, Wales or anywhere else.
Because of the song, once I took a diversion and went to Bangor, Maine. It seemed to be closed. The place looked like Berlin after the bombing. A few buildings were left standing and it was explained to me that it was due to "Urban Renewal." There was no signs of renewal just devastation. I found a music shop and tried to discover something about the song but they had never heard of it. There is a song mentioning their city and the natives had never heard of the song! The restaurant closed at 2.00pm on a Saturday and I left Bangor.Thanks for your site.


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 02:18 PM

Just in case anyone curious.
The only line now running is the "Downeaster" owned & run by Amtrak & it doesn't run as far as Bangor. It runs from Portland to Boston.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,David Silver
Date: 31 Dec 06 - 09:09 AM

Like Allen Strike on 30th July 2006 I too, on a whim put 'Riding Down From Bangor' into the search engine, as it is a song with a tune that I often sing to myself, and to my surprise was amazed to see what came up. Here is my take on the song. I used to sing it at school in London in 1950 out of the school 'song book'( I regret I cannot recall the publisher but it had all the usual songs one sang at school in those days). The music teacher played the tunes on the piano from the music score. While the tune which I downloaded from the internet had a similarity to the one we used to sing to, it was nowhere near as melodic - ours was very lively. Unfortunately, I now can only remember a few lines, but seeing the full verses on the internet, many of the lines came back to me. I must admit I always believed it to be of English origin with the Bangor being in Britain. The verses I knew seemed very 'English' and it does beg the question how did they get in a British school song book if they were not? We kids used to giggle at what we thought was a 'saucy bit' but on re-reading now it is much saucier than I imagined then!! Incidently, I remember the first line as being 'Riding down from Bangor on the Eastern Train' and I do not recall any 'Americanisms' like 'swell' but our version could have been bowdlerized or I could be wrong. Whatever the origin, it is clear that many people enjoyed it - which is what counts after all.


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Subject: RE: Harvard Student/Eastern Train/Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Brian Kirby
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 05:11 AM

Reading through after googling "riding down to Bangor" I was pleased to read comments and updating by all, but especially interested in Guest, David Silvers comments about thinking it was about a Bangor somewhere in the UK.
I also used to sing it at school in the east end of London in the late 1940s. Although our orientation was guided by the second line as we sang it, which read as "in the straits of Maine" therefore placing it in the States.
I spent the next 40 years thinking that maybe the inhabitants of the U.S. were a little more liberated than us.
I must say that on my first visit, I was disappointed to find no American that had heard the song. You have restored my faith and stilled my doubts that I was imagining it all.
Lastly, might I add that we used to sing it to a "Galloping polkery style"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM

From "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" in Papers on Psycho-Analysis by Ernest Jones (New York: William Wood and Company, 1918), page 61:

Until a few years ago I was disgracefully ignorant of the existence of Bangor, Maine, and I remember in college days [pre-1901] being puzzled by the reference to Maine in the wellknown student song, 'Riding down from Bangor,' as in my ignorance I supposed that this related to Bangor, the university town of Carnarvonshire, Wales.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:43 AM

.......or even here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangor,_County_Down


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Cuilionn
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:54 AM

I am happy to note that, thanks to Our Fearless Leader's stimulus program, funds may at long last be allocated to restoring a small portion of the Maine passenger rail line. Funds will be used to connect Portland to Freeport and Brunswick. Unfortunately, this still leaves us quite a bit shy of Bangor!

Hmmm...

"Rising down from Brunswick, on the DownEast train..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 10:03 AM

I too have known this song since 1940s. never had any trouble realising that there must be another Bangor in Maine; but have never understood the phrase where the 'student, quite ecstatic, sees her ticket through', and still don't. What, exactly, does it mean to 'see someone's ticket through'? Anyone explain, please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM

Some versions of the song give the lyrics as:

...sees her ticket's "through."

In other words, he sees that she has a "through" ticket, which means (I think) that she is supposed to continue her trip by transferring to another train, probably at the terminal?as opposed to a "local" ticket which would mean that she will get off at some station along the current route. He is interested in knowing this because it enables him to plan when he will make his move.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 05:09 PM

Thank you, Jim.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE TUNNEL (by S. O. L.)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM

This seems to be the oldest known source. From The Harvard Advocate (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard College, Vol. 12, No. 3, Nov. 10, 1871), page 40:

[Note that this is given as a poem, not a song.]


IN THE TUNNEL.

Riding up from Bangor,
On the Pullman train,
From a six weeks' shooting
In the woods of Maine;
Quite extensive whiskers,
Beard, moustache as well,
Sat a "student feller,"
Tall and fine and swell.

Empty seat behind him,
No one at his side;
To a pleasant station
Now the train doth glide.
Enter aged couple,
Take the hinder seat;
Enter gentle maiden,
Beautiful, petite.

Blushingly she falters,
"Is this seat engaged?"
(See the aged couple
Properly enraged.)
Student, quite ecstatic,
Sees her ticket's "through;"
Thinks of the long tunnel,?
Knows what he will do.

So they sit and chatter,
While the cinders fly,
Till that "student feller"
Gets one in his eye;
And the gentle maiden
Quickly turns about,?
"May I, if you please, sir,
Try to get it out?"

Happy "student feller"
Feels a dainty touch;
Hears a gentle whisper,?
"Does it hurt you much?"
Fizz! ding, dong! a moment
In the tunnel quite,
And a glorious darkness
Black as Egypt's night.

Out into the daylight
Darts the Pullman train;
Student's beaver ruffled
Just the merest grain;
Maiden's hair is tumbled,
And there soon appeared
Cunning little ear-ring
Caught in student's beard.

S. O. L.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Jill
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:05 PM

Almost 60 years ago I went to school in Port Pirie South Australia and we sang this song. I always thought it was about a tiny settlement to the east of Pt Pirie called Bangor. Thank you one and all for this information as I too had been trying for some time to get the full words. I always thought the song started "Riding down from Bangor on an Eastern train, Sat a preety maiden" but couldn`t recall what came next.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 06:21 PM

A version that included "Pullman," fishing, and Princeton was a great favorite in the 1950's at my 4-H camp in northeastern Connecticut. I enjoyed all the alternate versions!

CB from Connecticut


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,tress backhouse
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 12:47 PM

I woke up last night trying to remember the the rest of the song "Going up to Bangor on the eastern train". i remembered the gist of it but am interested to see the various memories people have of the song . We all seem to have learned it in England in the '30's or '40's. I did know where Maine was ! there were films with a large lady Marjorie Maine
it goes together in my mind!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM

This was a favourite when I was at boarding school atop the Cotswolds. I could never remember the exact words we were taught, but they were certainly very similar (and equally suggestive) to the ones above.
Yes, it was in music lessons too! Probably would not be allowed today, as not really the thing to teach kids (even though they were 13 upwards)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 03:21 AM

The tune seems very similar to the one we all learned from Lonnie D, 'Puting on the Style.' Not identical, but close.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 09:26 PM

Jim-

Nice to see you've tracked this one down to 1871. So who was "S.O.L."?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 09:32 PM

Oh, I note that above "S.O.L." was identified by the intrepid song-hunter Masato as "Louis Shreve Osborne."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM

Google Books turns up 8 books on religious themes written by Louis Shreve Osborne published between 1887 and 1910.

Then there are 3 more books on physics published between 1950 and 1994! Not the same individual, surely; maybe his grandson?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 04:13 PM

Now with a grand daughter of my own, I was thinking, what do I remember from my own Grandmother? What has lasted these many years? And out of somewhere came the lyrics "after six months shooting in the hills of Maine" and the idea of a bearded student on a train. I could almost capture the melody in my "mind's ear." She sang it with such gusto and delight ... and here I am 50 years later hunting it down with the rest of you. Perhaps the motto here ... sing to your grandchildren what you want them to remember. Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM

This song was recorded by Josef Marais and Miranda, a South African couple, in the very early 1950's on their eponymous 10" LP. It was my first folkie album.

howell h, win, jr.
gwinhh@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 10:22 AM

As I was getting up this morning, bits of this song came to me from the early 1950's. It was one of the bunkhouse songs we sang, college students all, as Virginia seasonal park rangers. After walking the dog and cat, turned on the computer, typed in a few remembered lines, and here I am. Quite a song; am glad to know its varied history, and the fuller lyrics.

Our version was much simpler, and made even more so by time and memory, but the opening line was much different and, possibly of interest, the Maiden spoke her lines with a lisp. There were a lot of enjoyable " boom de da da's". No mention of a beard or whiskers in, obviously, our much abbreviated and adulterated version.

Some of what I remember:

On six weeks of fishing off the coast of Maine,
from the town of Bangor came a Pullman train.

See that Harvard student, say doesn't he look swell?
Hair parted in the middle and a small moustache as well.
Empty seat behind him and no one at his side.
Enter pretty maiden, so bashful and petite,
"Thay Mister, does anyone occupy that seat?"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Stevebury
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 02:30 PM

Hadn't thought of this one for quite a while, but it's time to start singing it again! I learned it in high school, probably from the Marais and Miranda record. It's published in their book "Folk Song Jamboree" (1960, pp 72-3). I still have my Ballantine Books paperback (yellowed, but pretty much intact) which cost all of 50 cents at the time.

Their introductory notes help explain why the song was known in England and Scotland and Australia -- and South AFrica, where Marais and Miranda presumably learned it-- but wasn't widely known in the States. They read:
"American origin. In 1897 the "Scottish Student's Song Book" published this tune, the lyrics by an American, Louis Shreve Osborne, who graduated from Harvard in 1873 and was living near Edinburgh for six months' study. The song collection had a wide circulation and "Bangor" became popular throughout the British Empire before it was known in America. Osborne's poem was based on an earlier one by John Godfrey Saxe, "Rhyme of the Rail," written in 1849. The melody of Osborne's published song was a development from a "Railroad Chorus" issued in Philadelphia in 1854."


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Subject: Lyr Add: RHYME OF THE RAIL (John Godfrey Saxe)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 10:24 PM

Here's the poem that Osborne's song was supposedly "based on." While there is enough similarity to suggest a connection, it seems Osborne's scenario is totally original.

Frin The Poems of John Godfrey Saxe: Complete in One Volume by John Godfrey Saxe (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1868), page 57ff:


RHYME OF THE RAIL.
[John Godfrey Saxe]

Singing through the forests,
Rattling over ridges,
Shooting under arches,
Rumbling over bridges,
Whizzing through the mountains,
Buzzing o'er the vale,?
Bless me! this is pleasant,
Riding on the Rail!

Men of different "stations"
In the eye of Fame
Here are very quickly
Coming to the same.
High and lowly people,
Birds of every feather,
On a common level
Travelling together!

Gentleman in shorts,
Looming very tall;
Gentleman at large,
Talking very small;
Gentleman in tights,
With a loose-ish mien;
Gentleman in gray,
Looking rather green.

Gentleman quite old,
Asking for the news;
Gentleman in black,
In a fit of blues;
Gentleman in claret,
Sober as a vicar;
Gentleman in Tweed,
Dreadfully in liquor!

Stranger on the right,
Looking very sunny,
Obviously reading
Something rather funny.
Now the smiles are thicker,
Wonder what they mean?
Faith, he's got the Knicker-
Bocker Magazine!

Stranger on the left,
Closing up his peepers;
Now he snores amain,
Like the Seven Sleepers;
At his feet a volume
Gives the explanation,
How the man grew stupid
From "Association"!

Ancient maiden lady
Anxiously remarks,
That there must be peril
'Mong so many sparks!
Roguish-looking fellow,
Turning to the stranger,
Says it's his opinion
She is out of danger!

Woman with her baby,
Sitting vis-a-vis;
Baby keeps a squalling,
Woman looks at me;
Asks about the distance,
Says it's tiresome talking,
Noises of the cars
Are so very shocking!

Market-woman careful
Of the precious casket,
Knowing eggs are eggs,
Tightly holds her basket;
Feeling that a smash,
If it came, would surely
Send her eggs to pot
Rather prematurely!

Singing through the forests,
Rattling over ridges,
Shooting under arches,
Rumbling over bridges,
Whizzing through the mountains,
Buzzing o'er the vale;
Bless me! this is pleasant,
Riding on the Rail!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 04:58 AM

Our famous and esteemed friend Norman Haynes, of Higher Openshaw, sang this very song last week at our Songaround with The Beech Band at The Dulcimer in Chorlton, Manchester.

I have noticed the song in song books but never heard it sung until last Tuesday - incredible singer - great song.


This is us


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 04:25 PM

Exemplary detective work! Now can you guys help with the history and origins of 'The Scarlet and the Blue' aka 'The Merry Ploughboy'. Bert Lloyd claims John Blockley but this is very unlikely.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 07:44 PM

Exemplary detective work! Now can you guys help with the history and origins of 'The Scarlet and the Blue' aka 'The Merry Ploughboy'. Bert Lloyd claims John Blockley but this is very unlikely.

Might I suggest starting a new discussion?
Otherwise any discussion of "The Merry Ploughboy" will never be found under its own title.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 10:56 AM

I'm pretty certain it already has its own thread(s). If I had merely resurrected it the supersleuths here might not have seen it. It's about time it resurfaced anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 11:09 AM

See 'The Scarlet and the Blue' thread now resurrected.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Bob Wallington Kingston area, formerly of Ot
Date: 06 Mar 16 - 06:59 PM

I can recall my mother, who emigrated from England in 1919 singing this 'ditty'. Unfortunately, this was for our amusement and she accompanied herself on the piano. This was back in the early '30's when I was about 7 or 8 so I cannot recall the words or the music. All I can recall is that it was a cute song and had a real lilt to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Riding Down from Bangor
From: GUEST,Nila Aronow
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 08:35 PM

My mother sang it to me in the late '30s and '40s in New Jersey with some variations from the versions above::

From six months of fishing, off the coast of Maine,
From the town of Bangor, came a Pullman train.
Whiskers all extended, small mustache as well,
Oh see that Harvard student. Say, doesn't he look swell.

Seated at the window, no one at his side,
Through an Eastern village the Pullman train did ride,
Enter aged couple. Take the hindmost seat,
Enter pretty maiden, so (bashful)? and petite.

Bashfully(?) she falters, "Is this seat engaged?"
They see the aged couple, so happily arranged.
.........

Here I run out of words. They go through the tunnel but I cannot remember anymore words until the last line:

But doesn't that tiny hairpin in his mustache just look swell?

Was hoping to find the words to fill in my blanks, but none of the versions cited match the way I remember my mother singing it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KISS IN THE RAILWAY TRAIN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 05:14 PM

This seems to be another song of the same genre; at least the tale is similar:

From the sheet music which can be seen at The British Library Online Gallery of Victorian Popular Music:


THE KISS IN THE RAILWAY TRAIN
Words by Watkin Williams, music by C. H. Mackney
London: B. Williams, 1864.

1. Some say a trip by rail to please it cannot fail;
To me it brings nought but pain
When I think of an event which happened when I went
Riding in a railway train?
When I think of an event which happened when I went
Riding in a railway train.
'Twas going on a trip, for a salt water dip
To Brighton and back again,
That I met a young spark who stole away my heart
While riding in a railway train.

2. He was handsome, wore a watch, and sported a moustache,
Of which he appeared quite vain;
Yet very courteous he made ample room for me
By his side in the railway train?
Yet very courteous he made ample room for me
By his side in the railway train.
What he whispered on the way, of course I needn't say,
But his eyes pierced me through again,
And very soon he placed his arm round my waist
While riding in the railway train.

3. When the tunnels we got near, I expressed to him a fear,
Being terribly afraid of the same;
And scarcely we were in, than I felt above my chin,
Such a tickling in the railway train?
And scarcely we were in, than I felt above my chin,
Such a tickling in the railway train.
When the darkness had cleared, how strange he appeared!
His moustachios I looked for in vain,
Oh! goodness! what a fix! They were sticking to my lips
While riding in the railway train.

4. The passengers all smiled, when he snatched them off wild,
To place them on his lips again.
When the train quickly stopped, a guard in hurried got,
And stared at us all in the train?
When the train quickly stopped, a guard in hurried got,
And stared at us all in the train.
My spark blew his nose, for concealment, I suppose,
But the guard said, "I know your little game.
A message I have got by telegraph to stop
Your riding in a railway train."

5. Why they should serve him so, just then I didn't know.
They took him back to town again;
But looking on the ground, my empty purse I found;
Then I knew why they took him from the train?
But looking on the ground, my empty purse I found;
Then I knew why they took him from the train.
Young maids, stay at home, 'stead of travelling alone,
Lest you'd be served just the same;
And never let a spark slyly kiss you in the dark,
While riding in a railway train.


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