Train Songs

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TR-Flyer, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Hi:
    When i got back into the hobby about a year and a half ago my wife made me two CD's with train related, sometimes just by song title, songs. I find them fun to listen to when I’m working on trains or setting up at a show. There’s a big variety of styles on them, but I like that aspect. Thought I’d share the titles with you folks and also see if you knew any other songs I could use on the next CD.

    CD1:
    Hellbound Train-Savoy Brown, Daddy was a Railroad Man-Boxcar Willie (sung by Willie Nelson), Life’s Railway to Heaven-Willie and Patsy Cline, Freight Train- Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Runaway Train- Soul Asylum, Railroad Bill- Van Morrison, This Train- Peter Paul and Mary, Wreck of the Old 97-Johnny Cash, Casey Jr. (From the movie Dumbo), Take the “A” Train- Ella Fitzgerald w/ Duke Ellington, Chicken Train- Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Mystery Train- Paul Butterfield, The Little Engine that Could-John Denver, Petticoat Junction (TV Theme song), Train in Vain- Annie Lennox, Midnight Train to Georgia-Indigo Girls, Last Train to Clarksville- The Monkees, Casey Jones-Warren Zevon, The Wreck of the Old- Smothers Brothers, Train to Skaville- The Ethiopians, Downtown Train- Tom Waits.

    CD2:
    Mystery Train-Bon Jovi, Peace Train- Cat Stevens, Just Like This Train- Joni Mitchell, Crazy Train- Ozzy Osbourne, Riding on a Railroad- James Taylor, The Last Steam Engine Train- John Fahey, Desperadoes Waiting for a Train- Highwaymen, Railroad Song- Jim Croce, Wabash Cannonball- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Train in the Distance- Paul Simon, Mourning Train-The Wallflowers, Runaway Train- Elton John,/Eric Clapton, Last Train Home- Pat Metheny Group, Railroad Lady- Jimmy Buffett, Last Train to Memphis- The Band, Nobody Cares about the Railroad Anymore- Harry Nilsson, Last Train- Arlo Guthrie, Broken Train- Beck.

    “Whistle while you work…….”

    Ted
    .
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Cool!!! I have a CD I made with:

    Ridin' My Train.. -- Grateful Dead ....... Wreck of the "ol 97 -- ??? ..... Midnight Train - Charlie daniels.... The Silverton -- CW McCAll..... Casey Jones - Grateful Dead... King of the Road - Randy travis.... and Charlie of the MTA -- Kingston Trio

    It's part of my "cruisin CD" LOL
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

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    Wreck of '97

    If anyone might be interested here's the lyrics to the Wreck of '97. Just happened to have them in a file...sorry I don't take requests!:D

    The Wreck of Old 97

    Verse 1.
    Well they gave him his orders
    At Monroe, Virginia
    Saying "Steve you're way behind time.
    This is not the thirty-eight
    But its Old Ninety-Seven.
    You must put her into Spencer on time.

    Verse 2.
    He turned around
    To his fireman Black Billy
    Said "Shovel in a little more coal."
    And when we cross
    That wide and distant mountain
    We gonna watch Old Ninety-Seven roll.

    Verse 3.
    Its a mighty rough road
    From Lynchburg to Danville
    And its lined on a three mile grade.
    It was on that grade
    That he lost his airbrakes
    Lord! See what a jump he made.

    Verse 4.
    He came flyin' down the grade
    Making ninety miles an hour
    When his whistle broke into a scream.
    Oh they found him in the cab
    With his hand on the throttle
    He was scalded to death by the steam.

    Verse 5.
    Well there came a telegram
    Into Washington Station
    And this is how it read
    That brave you engineer
    That drove old Ninety-Seven
    Is laying in Danville dead.

    Verse 6.
    Now all you Young Ladies
    Better heed and take warning
    From this time now and learn
    Don't speak harsh words
    To your true lovin' husband.
    He may leave you and never return

    This is the Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs version. There are many variations.
  4. Mike R

    Mike R Member

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    Hello Ted; Here are a few other candidates for your next Train Song CD's :

    Johnny Cash / Sun Records:
    Train of Love
    Blue Train
    I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow
    Folsom Prison Blues

    Johnny Cash / Columbia:
    The Legend of John Henry's Hammer
    Orange Blossom Special
    Casey Jones
    Texas 1947
    The L & N Don't Stop Here Any More
    City of New Orleans ( also by Waylon Jennings , Arlo Guthrie )

    Jimmie Rodgers or Merle Haggard:
    Hobo Bill's Last Ride
    Waitin' For a Train

    Roy Acuff : Fireball Mail ( also by Stanley Brothers )
    Flatt & Scruggs: Ruben's Train, ( or Lonesome Ruben by Earl Scruggs Revue)
    Bill Monroe: Wabash Cannonball ( also by many others )
    Gordon Lightfoot: Canadian Railroad Trilogy
    Roger Miller: Engine, Engine Number 9
    Hank Snow: I'm Movin' On
    Geo. Hamilton IV: Canadian Pacific

    Happy New Year & regards / Mike
  5. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Thanks guys, Looks like i'm well on my way to the next CD. Looks like my next one will have a fair amount of "The Man in Black" on it.

    Vic, gee, too bad we can't post audio files on the gauge, then we could hear your rendition of 'ol 97!

    "I hear the train a comin'....."

    Ted
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Also check for Stan Rogers "Guysborough Train".
    Ewan MacColl wrote a number for his Radio show "The Ballad of John Axon", but I think they're pretty rare. (I have them on LP)
  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

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    we are missing a great oldie " The Gandy Dancers Ball" Jon would love it:D :D :D
  8. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    Train Songs...

    "Raisin' Steam" - Jethro Tull (Crest Of A Knave)
    "Train Kept-A-Rollin'" - Aerosmith (Get Your Wings)
    "Fast Train" - April Wine (Album...???)

    The first two are pretty twangy...highballing tunes?:D :D
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    LOL!

    The Dead has a lot of less known tracks :)D ) like the one about the monkey and the engineer. Also Neil Youngs Southern Pacific is pretty good... If I can ever figure out how to rip good mp3's from vinyl, I'll have all the Dead you could ask for :D :D :D
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Roy Acuff did a album of train songs.This album included:
    1. Wabash Cannonball
    2.Freight Train Blues
    3.The Pan American
    4.The stream Line Cannonball
    5.Midnight Train
    6.Tennessee Central #9.
    7.Night train to Memphis.
    8.The Fireball Mail
    9.Life's Railway to Heaven
    Plus 3 others which I can not recall. This is a very hard album to find.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Johnny Cash did a album of train songs called "Victoria Station".

    Another hard to find album.
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    TR, The first song I thought of when I first started reading your post was Hellbound Train, I was quite surprised to see it listed right up top. Don't think a lot of people were aware of it. BTW, Seatrain does a great version of "Orange Blossom Special" on their first album.

    Gary
  12. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    The hits just keep coming!

    Gary- Hellbound train was the first song I thought about when my wife offered to make a CD for me. Love the way the pacing starts off slow and ends up careening down the pike, out of control and headin’ to …... I'd forgotten about Seatrain entirely! And thinkin' about them made me walk over to the LP's and dig out McKendree Spring's "Tracks" album, it has Underground Railroad and Train to Dixie on it.

    Brakie: Roy Acuff! Of Course! (Open palm hand smack to the forehead) Time to go down to the used record store and begin the search!

    Jon & David: Dead –on!

    Lighthorse- I also missed J. Tull's “Locomotive Breath”. Saw them in concert “way back when” and Ian Anderson left an indelible impression on me with that number.

    60103 – You’ve stumped the band with both of your numbers, will have to seek them out!

    Thanks again, May have to have another two CD set!

    “Singin’ in the train, Just singin’ in the Train……
    What a glorious FEEElin’,….I’m Motive agin’…..”

    Ted
  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    McKendree Spring huh? I have one of theirs. They remind me of String Driven Thing. I think I'd enjoy visiting and listening to music as much as I would playing trains.

    No one has mentioned Arlo Guthries "City of New Orleans"
  14. Mike R

    Mike R Member

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    Gary; I did mention Arlo Guthrie's 'City of New Orleans', but it was 2 days ago.
    rgds / Mike
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Anyone know "The Runaway Train"? or is it a British song?
    "The runaway train came down the track, She blew, she blew."
    (Tune is like Johnny, I hardly knew you)
    and I don't remember any more.
  16. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Don't know the song David, will try and look it up!

    Is this it?

    T'was in the year of '89 on that old Great Western line,
    When the winter wind was blowin' shrill,
    The rails were froze, the wheels were cold, then the air brakes wouldn't hold,
    And Number 9 came roaring down the hill -- oh!
    The runaway train came down the track and she blew,
    The runaway train came down the track and she blew,
    The runaway train came down the track, her whistle wide and her throttle back,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    The engineer said the train must halt and she blew,
    The engineer said the train must halt and she blew,
    The engineer said the train must halt -- he said it was all the fireman's fault,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    The fireman said he rang the bell and she blew,
    The fireman said he rang the bell and she blew,
    The fireman said he rang the bell -- the engineer said "You did like h***!"
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    The porter got an awful fright and she blew,
    The porter got an awful fright and she blew,
    The porter got an awful fright -- he got so scared he near turned white,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    A donkey was standing in the way and she blew,
    A donkey was standing in the way and she blew,
    A donkey was standing in the way and all they found was just his bray,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    The conductor said there'd be a wreck and she blew,
    The conductor said there'd be a wreck and she blew,
    The conductor said there'd be a wreck and he felt the chills run up his neck,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
    The runaway train went over the hill and she blew,
    The runaway train went over the hill and the last we heard she was going still,
    And she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew.

    By Robert E. Massey

    Looks like another must have.

    Regards,
    Ted
  17. LarryGarrett

    LarryGarrett New Member

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    Lots of great songs mentioned here. Personally, I can't even start working on my track plan without Johnny Cash doing The Rock Island Line. That is one of the classic train songs (and any other kind of song) of all time. Also, did I miss The City of New Orleans on the previous postings? No less than Haggard, Cash, and Dylan have all called this the greatest of train songs....What's great about train songs is that all of them are cool.

    Guy Clark wrote Texas 1947. It was actually about the first time a train pulled by a diesel roared through the little Texas town he grew-up in. It's a great story and sounds very authenic. Read the lyrics: they put you right there.

    City of New Orleans is truly a super song about the demise of the railroad industry, particularly the passenger train. Johnny Cash wrote a song called I've Got A Thing About Trains---another great and somber tale about the railroad industry.

    You know, aside from this being such a fantastic hobby, we also are blessed by the music that is tied directly to it. Man, this topic has me all fired-up. Guess I'll go put some Johnny Cash on and work on my track plan............Damn, this is fun. And I'm not even running trains yet.
  18. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Larry, i couldn't have put it better than you did in your last paragraph. Thanks for the additions!
    Ted
  19. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

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    What! No Glenn Miller????

    Chattanoga Choo-choo, comes to mind.

    So does Janice Joplin's Bobby Mcgee.

    "Busted flat in Baton Rouge - Waitin' for a train, with my spirits as faded as my jeans..... Bobby flagged a diesel down, just before it rained... Singin' songs all the way to New Orleans..."


    Lighthorseman, I'm a huge J-Tull fan. Locomotive Breath from Aqualung is great!

    Jethro Tull's "Journeyman" from Heavy Horses comes to mind as well:

    Spine-tingling railway sleepers -
    Sleepy houses lying four-square and firm.
    Orange beams divide the darkness
    Rumbling fit to turn the waking worm.
    Sliding through Victorian tunnels
    where green moss oozes from the pores.
    Dull echoes from the wet embankments -
    Battlefield allotments. Fresh open sores.

    In late night commuter madness
    Double-locked black briefcase on the floor
    like a faithful dog with master
    sleeping in the draught beside the carriage door.
    To each Journeyman his own home-coming
    Cold supper nearing with each station stop
    Frosty flakes on empty platforms
    Fireside slippers waiting. Flip. Flop.

    Journeyman night-tripping on the late fantastic
    Too late to stop for tea at Gerard's Cross
    and hear the soft shoes on the footbridge shuffle
    as the wheels turn biting on the midnight frost.

    On the late commuter special
    Carriage lights that flicker, fade and die
    Howling into hollow blackness
    Dusky diesel shudders in full cry.
    Down redundant morning papers
    Abandon crosswords with a cough
    Stationmaster in his wisdom
    told the guard to turn the heating off.

    Journeyman night-tripping on the late fantastic
    Too late to stop for tea at Gerard's Cross
    and hear the soft shoes on the footbridge shuffle
    as the wheels turn biting on the midnight frost.


    Check out:
    This Is! - The Jethro Tull Lyric Library for all song lyrics.
  20. Mike R

    Mike R Member

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    Hey Tin Goat...that diesel that 'Me & Bobby McGee' thumbed down, was a TRUCK ! A dirty old railroad-industry-killin' SEMI !
    Bite your tongue, I guess...I will say one thing, you may be the only music buff I know of who likes Glenn Miller AND Jethro Tull.
    This is good.
    regards / Mike