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Origins: The Montreal Express

GUEST,dogdays 18 Mar 06 - 12:39 PM
Peace 18 Mar 06 - 02:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Mar 06 - 04:00 PM
kendall 18 Mar 06 - 04:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Mar 06 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,dax 18 Mar 06 - 11:34 PM
Peace 19 Mar 06 - 12:02 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Mar 06 - 12:33 AM
Peace 19 Mar 06 - 12:34 AM
kendall 19 Mar 06 - 07:45 AM
Beer 19 Mar 06 - 09:16 AM
Willie-O 19 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM
kendall 19 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM
open mike 19 Mar 06 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,MarkB 04 Dec 10 - 02:10 PM
Beer 04 Dec 10 - 03:02 PM
Gutcher 04 Dec 10 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,John 18 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,John 18 Dec 10 - 05:46 PM
Cool Beans 19 Dec 10 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Geoff 19 Dec 10 - 07:42 PM
Beer 19 Dec 10 - 07:45 PM
bobad 19 Dec 10 - 08:24 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 11 - 07:06 PM
Beer 06 Jan 11 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,nanodelle 03 Jan 12 - 07:28 PM
Joe Offer 25 Jan 12 - 04:28 PM
judyac 05 Feb 12 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Vermont 24 May 13 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Guest Toronto 02 Aug 13 - 05:56 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 14 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,DB Uxbridge 13 Feb 14 - 08:42 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Mar 14 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,dogdays
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 12:39 PM

I just heard this song on the radio this morning. It was a folksong (maybe from the 1960's? not sure...) I would love to find out who sang it, (to try to get a copy). A search on google led me nowhere.

Basically it's about the cold air that comes to Massachusetts, from Canada.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Peace
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 02:50 PM

"Montreal Express

From the north comes the Montreal Express
that makes cold lovers bundle to excess.
Canada's blasting breeze
makes us cough and wheeze.
Into the house we jockey
to watch a game of hockey
and escape the paralyzing brisk mess.

Eileen Sateriale, Bowie, MD, USA
COMMENTS: Thankful to have a house in which to escape the bitter onslaught! The quick pace of this almost leaves the reader breathless, but still game to re-read the poem."

Can't find anything else. I'm from Montreal and I've never heard of either the song or the 'wind' being called "The Montreal Express". Perhaps someone woill come along. The only 'substantial' thing I could find is quoted above. G'luck.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 04:00 PM

Here in Calgary, we get a bonus of Detroit TV stations and a few of the big ones elsewhere on our cable set-up. We hear their weathermen (and ladies) speak of the Alberta Express, which is a weather system that forms in Alberta and sweeps eastward to eastern U. S. and Canada bringing wind and snow.
Never heard of the Montreal Express, but if there is a song, I would suggest that it is a recent composition and not a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: kendall
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 04:30 PM

Years ago there was a commercial for gas and this wind was mentioned in it. Something about ...gas heat is the only way to beat the Montreal Express. It was mentioned in the book, STORIES TOLD IN THE KITCHEN, but I don't think the author knew anything about it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 09:09 PM

Oops, Should be the Alberta Clipper!
(not Alberta Express)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 11:34 PM

The American weathermen always blame their rotten weather on a system from Canada. Truth to tell, most of the rotten weather in Atlantic Canada comes from the central USA.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Peace
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 12:02 AM

In northern Canada we blame it on Siberia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 12:33 AM

Peace, how about those Montana lows that spin snows into Alberta?
We could use a few more of them before spring comes, it has been on the dry side here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Peace
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 12:34 AM

LOL

We have had NO snow to speak of here, either. Got a few inches last night and toady, but unless we get lots or the spring brings some serious rainfall, there will be bad forest fires here this summer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:45 AM

Guest dax, don't feel bad, most of our shitty weather in Maine also comes from our mid west.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Beer
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 09:16 AM

39 years living in Quebec and never heard of the expression "Montreal Express". If used I guess it was one that didn't catch on. I would also be curious to hear the melody of the song.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM

That's the great thing about bad weather eh--you can always blame it somewhere else! Remember, winds are named direction-wise by where they're coming from, not where they're going. Maybe in Montreal they call it the Maudit Ontarien?

That's why i find JP Cormier's song "Northwind", about missing Cape Breton while living in the South, hilarious. If he's "gonna ride the North Wind" home, it'll be a l--o---n---g trip. Unless that's a train or sumpin.

W-O
hiding from the Polar Express


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM

Standard advice to writers "Write what you know about." Obviously, that guy shouldn't be a weatherman!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: open mike
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 01:32 PM

i thought you meant this train trip and/or this film
http://usa.festivalexpress.com/index2.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,MarkB
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:10 PM

As someone above said, here in Massachusetts there was a radio advertisement for gas heating that warned of "the Montreal Express." Most weather we get here comes from southwest of us, but occasionally the winds will turn, and a storm will come down from Canada. When it happens in the winter, it's a cold blast of Arctic air that comes right down through Montreal on the map. Canadians wouldn't know the expression because it's a relative thing - it's weather that comes to us from Canada, and we're the ones who named it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Beer
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:02 PM

Now that makes a lot of sense Mark.
Ad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Gutcher
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 04:32 PM

The second line of the verse given by Peace 18.3.06 is of interest
to me, as here in Scotland up to about the time of Burns we had an old courting custom called "bundling".
In those days a young man visiting his sweetheart would get into what was called a box bed and the curtains or doors would be closed
and they had privacy to do their courting, the bed being in the kitchen where all the family would be gathered in the evening.
Who composed the verse and was the custom known in America?
Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,John
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM

There's an Artic Wind up in Canada
Howling like a wolverine
and it whistles on down into Boston town when ever it feels real mean
It's hootin' into Newton into Watertown
the "Pike's" just a gleam with Ice
The traffics Snarled along the Charles and take this good advice
Trade your mini-skirts for some flannel shirts and send out an SOS cuz it freezes all this wind they call the "Montreal Express"
it drop it a paul on the City Hall a thurman to behold.
and when it descends on the old north end your up to your ears in snow


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,John
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:46 PM

it was put out by the Gas company to help sell folks on natural gas as a more efficient means of home heat over the old oil burners Used to have a copy of the "ditty" on 45 rpm


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Cool Beans
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 01:24 PM

I never heard the song, but the term "Montreal Express," meaning cold weather, was used by the Boston Gas company on billboards in the 1960s or '70s when I was living in New England.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,Geoff
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:42 PM

I remember the billboards mentioned by Cool Beans. I think there were also Boston Gas spots that ran on WEEI (at that time an all-news format) and WBZ which ended with the line from the song: "cuz it freezes all this wind they call the 'Montreal Express'".

Now I live in Los Angeles where we're currently experiencing a "Pineapple Express".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_express


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Beer
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:45 PM

More like "Water Express" according to this evening's news.
Hope your O.K.
Ad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: bobad
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 08:24 PM

I experienced the "Pineapple Express" in 1990 driving down the coast from B.C. to California in an old VW Westfalia. It made for some hairy going through flooded low areas and washed out cliff side highway. At one point the southbound outer lane had been completely washed down the cliff side leaving only the inner lane with wooden horses as a barrier against the crashing breakers far below. That was definitely a trip to remember.

As for the "Montreal Express" that sounds more like an adman's slogan than a true weather event as I would think that it would take extremely rare atmospheric conditions to produce a weather flow from Montreal to Boston - the usual pattern is in the opposite direction.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:06 PM

There's a icy wind up in Canada
Howling like a wolverine
It whistles an down into Boston town
Whenever it feels real mean.
Up around the Pru
And along Route 2
People all know I guess
That Northern bane on a weather vane
called the Montreal Express.

Sung as a commercial in the 50's and perhaps early 60's
for the "old" Boston Gas Co. on radio station WHDH
on my way to school.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Beer
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:33 PM

Well there you go!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM

"Boston Gas heats the only way to beat the Montreal Express."
Ad jingle created by Courtney Crandall, Cabot Advertising, Boston, MA


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,nanodelle
Date: 03 Jan 12 - 07:28 PM

I grew up in W. Mass, during the 60's, where there was a version of Mr. Crandall's ditty "Montreal Express,"....towns mentioned were Chicopee and Grandby, "with a terrible icy roar," instead of the Pru and Rte. 2, Watertown and Newton. The lyrics differed depending on where you lived in N. England, and which gas company was a subsidiary of Bostongas. Speaking of which--I really liked the paint on the giant gas reservoirs South of Boston.
One other song that expresses cold really well was The Band's "When You Awake:"...."The snow's gonna come and the frost's gonna bite, my old car froze up last night..." (well, Robbie Robertson did grow up between Six Nations and NYC!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 04:28 PM

Refresh - I can't tell from the thread if we've arrived at a definitive version of the song or not - all the versions posted are pretty short.

Anybody know THE definitive version of this?


This e-mail makes me think there's more to this than we have posted:
    Hi Joe - I was surfing and found mudcats website which had your address so I'm writing you. I was surfing google, trying to find the words to an old New England folk song (or poem?) titled " The Montreal Express" - nothing to do with trains but rather the blistery NW winter winds, quite welcome in July but not so much in January speaking from my 20 years living in NH. The Boston Sunday Globe Mag published it some 30 years ago and several TV weather people still use the expression when forecasting a cold front. Kind of a humorous text like "Casey at the Bat". I think I could have extracted it from your website but I'm still a geek on the internet so no luck but I'm willing to try again So, can you give me a steer toward navigating your website? - hope this qualifies as a "nice" e-mail as per suggestion - Many thanx - Jim, Austin, TX

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: judyac
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 09:40 AM

I found this on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxv8F6m1P_A

Here is the story of the writing of Charlie on the M.T.A.

http://sixsongs.blogspot.com/2012/02/getting-there-mta.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,Vermont
Date: 24 May 13 - 09:42 PM

Yes, there is a cold air flow that sweeps down from Ontario across northern New England, that we locals know as the Montreal Express. When the wind shifts around to the north the temperature drops considerably, and it happens 9 months out of the year.
As for the song, the lyrics sound pretty lame. I never heard of the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,Guest Toronto
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 05:56 PM

I live there at the time of this jingle.
Like the other post said it was an ad for the oil company it came out on those plastic little records.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 02:43 PM

My father still has the 45 (one of those little plastic records). I haven't listened to it in over 20 years! Now I have to go find it. I did a little searching and apparently it was sung by Al Sears and His Countrymen circa 1969. It was originally a jingle for the Boston Gas Company and was so popular they extended it and released it as a single.

MONTREAL EXPRESS

There's an arctic wind up in Canada
Howling like a wolverine
And it whistles on down into Boston town
Whenever it feels real mean
Up around the Pru
And out Route 2
People all sigh "ah, yes"
We must have sinned 'cause here comes that wind
Called the Montreal Express.

It rattles sills in the old Blue Hills
With a terrible icy roar
Your BVDs and your pipes all freeze
And your heating bills just soar
It shivers and shakes
And big snowflakes
Toot! No school today
Why down in Hull they ground the gull
And the blue jays all turn grey

It dropped a pall on the City Hall
The thermom's two below
When it descends on the old North End
You're up to your ears in snow
It's hootin' into Newton and Watertown
The Pike just gleams with ice
The traffic snarls along the Charles
So take this good advice:
Swap your miniskirt for some flannel shirts
And send out an S.O.S.
'Cause it freezes all, this wind they call
The Montreal Express


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Montreal Express
From: GUEST,DB Uxbridge
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 08:42 PM

Ok...

I can't remember what I did yesterday but I do remember several lines from the old Boston Gas Heat Radio Commercial.

I't will howl on down thru Watertown. Your pipe's will freeze ice. There'll be traffic snarls, along the Charles, so take this good advice.

Before, once more, your oil bills soar, better heat your home for less. Boston Gas heat's the only way beat The Montreal e x p r e s s.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MONTREAL EXPRESS - Commercial version
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:00 PM

Evidently there were several versions of that commercial. I found this one on Spotify:


MONTREAL EXPRESS – Commercial
As sung by Dick Curless on "The Travelling Man, Vol. 4" (2013)

Out Concord way I hear 'em say the hist'ry books are wrong.
Old Paul Revere never did, I fear, ever come ridin' on.
'Twas April, right, but what a night! No one did undress.
In bundlin' beds they just hid their heads from the Montreal Express.

The lanterns lurched in the Old North Church and the British held their boats.
The houses shook and the gals all took to makin' maxi-coats.
Of course today so warm we stay with gas; we heat for less.
Don't tread on me, this wind that we call the Montreal Express.

SPOKEN: Change to natural gas heat, the clean-air fuel for ecology and economy. Boston Gas keeps your home warm all winter, clean all year, with a comfort only low-cost gas can give, because nobody, but nobody, heats cheaper than gas.

SUNG: Boston Gas heat's the only way to beat the Montreal Express.


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