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Train Songs

 
 
Peace and Love
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 06:59 pm
Hi edgar -- the last songs that I posted were songs that were sung by people working on the old railroad crews.... there were some great old spirituals that they adapted and changed.... remember the opening scene in "O Brother Where Art Thou"?... that was a great scene!... but, maybe I shouldn't have included those with "train songs".... (sorry if I went off on a tangent!)...

I love the old bluegrass tunes, and many of those were about riding the rails on the freight trains. I have a ton of music and bluegrass songbooks that have some really great old freight train songs. They're pretty obscure and the lyrics are kinda unknown, compared to the guitar playing.


Freight Train Boogie

Casey Jones, he was a mighty man
But now he's restin' in the promised land
The kind of music he could understand
Was an 8-wheel driver under his command.

He made the freight train boogie
All the time
He made the freight train boogie
As he rolled down the line

When the fireman started ringing the bell
Everybody on the line could tell
Casey Jones was a coming to town,
On an 8-wheel driver that was burning 'em down

He made the freight train boogie
All the time
He made the freight train boogie
As he rolled down the line.

Very Happy
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 07:13 pm
Yeah, I've been going through a lot of bluegrass lyrics. There are lots of train songs. Generally, if I haven't heard one I've avoided posting it.
0 Replies
 
Peace and Love
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 07:30 pm
Hi edgar -- I'm listening to one of my favorite CD's, "Whiskey Before Breakfast" by Norman Blake..... he's an excellent bluegrass guitar player.... the last song on the CD is "Slow Train Through Georgia"....


Down by the county bridge them gondolas roll,
Hauling down to Birmingham, dirty halflslag coal,
I should let 'em move me on, come sunshine, rain or drought,
'Cause just like the circle says, Southern serves the South.

Hardships and troubles, Lord you know I've had some,
Gettin' older every day, I'm a fair weather bum,
Let me tell you, good people here it's just about time.
To catch a slow train through Georgia, and ease my worried mind.

Forty miles an hour, she's rollin' down the line,
Greasy rails, red clack trails, through the long leaf pines,
Anyplace that sunshine falls is where I long to be,
Southern Sunshine Special, won't you roll me to the sea.

Hardships and troubles, Lord you know I've had some,
Gettin' older every day, I'm a fair weather bum,
Let me tell you, good people here, it's just about time.
To catch a slow train through Georgia, and ease my worried mind.

Lord I wish I was livin' day by day, some place down the track,
C'mon gal, my old pal, don't you know we'll not look back,
I'll take down this old guitar, I'll play her every day,
And let the slow train through Georgia, roll my blues away.

Hardships and troubles, Lord you know I've had some,
Gettin' older every day, I'm a fair weather bum,
Let me tell you, good people here, it's just about time.
To catch a slow train through Georgia, and ease my worried mind.

Very Happy
I wish I could put a link here to the music, because the guitar playing is great!!
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 09:01 pm
Freedom Train

Come on people
ride the Freedom Train.
Come on people
ride the Freedom Train.
Com on people
ride the Freedom Train
on the underground
railroad track.

There's a lady in the night,
a conductor,
whose train never gets off the track.
She's a Moses to her people,
so trust her.
To bondage you'll never go back.

Come on people
ride the Freedom Train.
Come on people
ride the Freedom Train.
Come on people
ride the Freedom Train
on the Underground
Railroad Track.

There's a lady in the night,
a protector,
who'll help you escape
without harm.
Harriet Tubman's a Moses,
so trust her!
She'll guide you north
by the stars.
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 09:03 pm
ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER NINE
Engine, engine number nine
Coming down the railroad line
How much farther back did she get off.
Old brown suitcase that she carried.
I've looked for it ev'rywhere.
It just ain't here among the rest
And I'm a little upset, yes... tell me

Engine, engine number nine,
Coming down the railroad line,
I know she got on in Baltimore.
A hundred and ten miles ain't much distance
But it sure do make a diff'rence;
I don't think she loves me anymore.

I warned her of dangers
Don't speak to strangers
Did she find new romance
Warmer lips to kiss her,
Arms to hold her tighter,
Stirring new fires inside her,
How I wish that it was me instead
Of he that stands beside her.

Engine, engine number nine,
Coming down the railroad line,
I know she got on in Baltimore.
A hundred and ten miles ain't much distance
But it sure do make a diff'rence;
I don't think she loves me anymore.

No I don't think she loves me anymore.
I dont think she loves me...
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 09:35 pm
I was just doing some Roger Miller on another website. I like most of his songs.
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 09:38 pm
This is really a good topic edgar, so many good train songs sung by so many great artists.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 10:08 pm
I am sure we will have more. I haven't had opportunity to post much this week end.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2002 07:21 pm
GOLDEN ROCKET

From old Montana down to Alabam
I've been before and I'll travel again
Your triflin' women can't keep a good man down
You dealt the cards but you missed a play
Now hit the road and be on your way
I'm gonna board the Golden Rocket and leave this town
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2002 07:48 pm
"Midnight Train To Georgia"

(As recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
JIM WEATHERLY

L.A. proved too much for the man
So he's leavin' the life he's come to know
He said he's goin' back to find what's left of his world
The world he left behind not so long ago

He's leavin' on that midnight train to Georgia
Said he's goin' back to find the simpler place and time
I'll be with him on that midnight train to Georgia
I'd rather live in his world than live without him in mine

He kept dreamin' that someday he'd be a star
But he sho' found out the hard way that dreams don't always come true
So he's pawned all his hopes and he even sold his own car
Bought a one-way ticket back to the life he once knew

Said he's leavin' on that midnight train to Georgia
Said he's goin' back to find the simpler place and time
I'm gonna be with him on that midnight train to Georgia
I'd rather live in his world than live without him in mine

Oh he's leavin' on the midnight train to Georgia
Said he's goin' back to find the simpler place and time
I've got to be with him on that midnight train to Georgia
I'd rather live in his world than live without him in mine

All aboard, all aboard, all aboard
On the midnight train to Georgia
I got to go
I got to go
I got to go

(c) Copyright 1971, 1973 by Keca Music, Inc. International copyright secured.
All rights reserved.

- SONG HITS, Summer 1974.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 10:06 pm
The wreck of the old ninety seven

They gave him his orders at Monroe Virginia
saying, Steve you're way behind time.
This is not thirty eight, but it's old ninety seven
you must get her into Chester on time.

He turned 'round and said to his black greasy fireman
just shovel in a little more coal
When we cross that white oak mountain
you'll see old ninety seven roll.

He was going downgrade mak'in ninety miles an hour
when his wistle broke into a screem
They found him in the wreck with his hand on the throttle
and scalded to death by the steam

Now ladys you must take warning
from this time on and learen.
Never speak harsh words to your true loving husband.
He may leave you and never return.
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 04:17 pm
Railroad Lady

She's a railroad lady
Just a little bit shady
Spendin' her days on the trains
She's a semi-good looker
But the fast rails they took 'er
Now she's tryin', just tryin' to get home again

South Station in Boston to the freightyards of Austin
From the Florida sunshine to the New Orleans rain
Now that the railpacks
Has taken the best tracks
She's tryin', just tryin' to get home again

She's a railroad lady
Just a little bit shady
Spendin' her life on a train
Once a pullman car traveller
Now the brakeman won't have 'er
She's tryin', just tryin' to get home again

Once a high ballin' loner he thought he could own 'er
Bought her a fur and a big diamond ring
She hocked 'em for cold cash
Left town on the Wabash
Never thinkin', never thinkin' of home way back then

But the rails are now rusty
The dinin' car's dusty
Gold plated watches have taken their toll
Yeah the railroads are dyin'
And the lady she's cryin'
On a bus to Kentucky and home that's her goal

She's a railroad lady
Just a little bit shady
Spendin' her life on a train
She's a semi-good looker
But the fast rails they took 'er
Now she's tryin', just tryin' to get home again

Yes on a bus to Kentucky and home once again
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 05:49 pm
"Train Song" - Tom Waits

Well I broke down in E. St. Louis
On the Kansas City line
And I drunk up all my money
That I borrowed every time
And I fell down at the derby
Now the night's black as a crow
It was a train that took me away from here
But a train can't bring me home

What made my dreams so hollow?
I was standing at the depot
With a steeple full of swallows
That could never ring the bell
And I come from ten thousand miles away
I ain't got one thing to show
Well it was a train that took me away from here
But a train can't bring me home

I remember when I left
Without bothering to pack
You know I up and left with
With nothing but the clothes I had on my back
Now I'm sorry for what I've done
And I'm out here on my own
Well it was a train that took me away from here
But a train can't bring me home
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 05:50 pm
No "Orange Blossom Special?" Didnae see't when I skimmed through, though I do seem some Johnny Cash up there...
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 06:40 pm
I think there was an excerpt from Orange Blossom Special.
0 Replies
 
TwissB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2003 04:08 pm
Train songs
Here's a rare one - my favorite Johnny Cash song, "I Would Like to See You Again" by Charlie Craig and Larry T. Atwood, recorded 9/13/77 in Nashville, TN. Same title CD Sony Music Special Products A 31493. Just one line mentioning a railroad track (and a little harmonica whistle-wail), but it's all there.

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU AGAIN

I was sittin' here thinking about old times -
Some old times, some old friends,
And suddenly it crossed my mind
That I would like to see you again.

Remember how we used to walk and talk -
Walk and talk, holding hands?
We said we loved each other, I recall,
Made a lot of future plans.

But the years have come and gone,
And a whole lot has happened since then,
But tonight, babe, your memory's awful strong on my mind
And I would like to see you again.

It's funny how an old flame comes back -
Come on back, make you blue,
But I just saw a picture of a railroad track,
Some old shack, me and you.

Guess I'd better straighten out my mind -
Straighten it out, go to bed,
And pray that I don't dream about old times,
Some old times, gone and dead.

Oh the years have come and gone,
And a whole lot has happened since then,
But tonight, babe, your memory's awful strong on my mind,
And I would like to see you again.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2003 08:26 pm
Good one, TwissB! And welcome to A2K! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 07:01 pm
Good topic. I love songs about trains - about journeying, per se. There's a lot of really cool automobile songs, too, would deserve a thread of their own (Old r'n'b tune called I Want a Lavender Cadillac comes to mind, and Lightnin Hopkins joking about his black cadillac "all black and there's me, all black and white eyes and white teeth!" Wink.

Some of my favourite train songs:

Railroad Station Blues - T-Bone Walker
I remember there's this intro on the compilation I have it on, too, where you hear the station master or the train conductor admonishing a bystander, "stay away from the train, man, there's people who wanna get on!". I love T-Bone Walker.

This Train - Big Bill Broonzy
Is on the flip side of this old 7" my father bought way back when - on the A side it's got "I'm Goin' down This Road now feeling sa-ad, ...". That 7" is brilliant. It's got 4 songs and both of these are so powerful, the best I've ever heard of BB Broonzy. And its ancient.

Rock Island Line
Both the Leadbelly folk version of old, which is cute, and the hi-energy Mano Negra cover from the mid-90s.

Mystery Train - Junior Parker
Memphis Train - Rufus Thomas

Both from the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch' Mystery Train. I got to see it again last month, on a rerun in a dingy film house here, got to take Anastasia to it. I originally saw it back in 91 or 92 or something - it's such a cute movie - and a very good soundtrack. It made me like Presley's "Blue Moon". Although, on an aside, if you've ever heard Amalia Rodrigues' sing Blue Moon, you won't ever listen to the song again without remembering that version as well - it's so funny, with this bizarre-Christmassy feel!

There's a Train a-Comin' - Steve Earle
First song that got me on to Steve Earle. Who's since become one of my heroes. Can't listen to "Christmas Time in Washington" without crying.

Musical Train - Roy Shirley
Train to Skaville - the Ethiopians

Coupla ska tunes, both from a Trojan Records compilation double-CD - they put out some heart-winning ska and rocksteady! Musical train is cute (though not about trains, of course, and therefore formally trespassing in this post, I guess), and Train to Skaville is infectious.

Train to Doomsville - Lee "Scratch" Perry/Dub Syndicate
Lee Perry is a mad genius, and this is him at his playful crazy best, thundering on and off with his old-testamentic voice while making jokes on the side with his little girl. Lyrics are again in the non-literal/nonsense category, but it's a train to Doomsville and if you ever download a later-years Perry track, take this one.

Funky Like a Train - the Equals
At the same time I was playing the Mystery Train soundtrack in the cafe I was working at, we were playing this collection tape someone from the concerts-team made, and it started out with this tune - still puts me in a good mood. There was also Luther, the caveman, who wanted to dance, "me want DAAANCE" - and who "put his eye to the peephole ... and he started a saying back then that we still use today ... though we got it all mixed up ... because he said: power to the peephole! Power to the PEEPHOLE!" But anyway, I'm getting off-topic Smile.

the Train Kept a-Rollin' - Motorhead
Can't forget Motorhead. Now y'all turn up the volume, and yell out while you're slamming the dishes into the drying rack, "and the train kept a-rollin, all night long, and the train kept a-rollin, all night long!!"

El Tren Blindado - the Ex
Dutch anarcho-punk band The Ex somewhere in the 80s did this 7" box set with songs of the Spanish Revolution - and of each they did a punk version and a reconstruction of how it must have sounded, more or less - I love this 'original'.

If Love Was a Train - Michelle-Shocked
Adieu Sweet Bahnhof - the Nits

Just two sweet, nostalgic songs ...

Trollejbus, Kotoryj Idjot na Vostok (Streetcar Headed East) - Kino
Polnotsjnyj Trollejbus (Midnight Trolleybus) - Bulat Okudzjava
And here I'm cheating again, for a streetcar or a trolleybus is no train. Funny, that - the Russians and public transport. Kino's tune is a vintage example of 80s Russian popmusic - very low-tech, ska-like teen-pop, that made singer Tsoj a popular hero before he committed suicide (even in 95 in Petersburg I came across graffiti saying 'Viktor Tsoj - Still Alive', which rhymes in Russian) - and lyrics full of vaguely dissident-sounding metaphors about how "my seat is at the left and I have to take it ... There is no driver in the driver's seat but / the streetcar is going on / and the engine is rusted ... and so we are trying to figure out what's the / Use of a streetcar heading east".

Okuzhava's chanson is one of the most comforting songs I know ... "Whenever I am unable to overcome my sadness, whenever despair overtakes me, I board that blue trolleybus, the last one, whichever one.. The midnight trolleybus sails through Moscow, Moscow, like a river, fades away, and my sorrow, it dies away, it dies away."
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 07:21 pm
I forgot:
Two Trains Running - Maxwell Street Jimmy
From this LP I bought on sale, called simply 'Rare Blues' - it was my first blues LP, and it turned out to be a diamond - it's got such good recordings.
Also:
Leavin' Memphis, 'Frisco Bound - Jesse Fuller
and
Empire State Express - Son House
He was really too old, by the time this was recorded in the version I have, one cant help but think: they shouldnt have done this to him still - but this track still has a haunting quality to it, beautiful.

Talking blues train tracks, by the way, I've got a CD (well, a copy Wink, it's pretty good: "Trains on the Highway - Moaners and Shouters".

I see that Sozobe (of course! Wink had already posted "This Train" as well, except she knows it by Woody Guthrie, and I, by Big Bill Broonzy! The Steve Earle song is already up there, too, and Mystery Train - but I think I added quite some new ones, as well!

It was easy to come up with this selection of favourite train songs, because a few years back, I made a set of tapes for a friend, three tapes, called 'planes, trains and autombiles' ... It was an elaborate present, i'd designed the tape covers myself in adobe photodeluxe (cause i didnt have photoshop yet), and i wrote a long essayistic story to go with the variety in tracks, trying to connect all the dots in, i hoped, a surprising way ... So i basically picked these here up from that tracklist - but it was cool to for each song remember and describe why it was special, what the song meant for me ... <smiles> ... i should make a follow-up some day, huh ;-)
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 08:19 pm
Wonderful. I am glad to see this thread continues to live.
0 Replies
 
 

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