classic railroad songs

Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.

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BR&P
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Post by BR&P »

OK, answered my own questions. It was South Central Tennessee RR RS11 #29 in the video, and the artist was Mel McDaniel.

"Let It Roll (Let It Rock)"
Performed by Mel McDaniel
Transcribed by Eric Gordon

"Let It Roll (Let It Rock)"

[G]In the heat of the day down in Mobile Alabama
Workin' on the railroad with a steel drivin' hammer
[C]Gotta get some money, buy some brand new shoes
[G]Try to find somebody to take away these blues
[D]She don't love me here I'm sing in the sun
[G]Pay day is coming when my work is all done

[G]Up and in the evening when the sun is sinking low
All day I've been waiting for the whistle to blow
[C]Sittin' in a tee-pee built right on the tracks
[G]Rollin' them bones til the foreman comes back
[D]Pick up your belongings boys and scatter about
We've got an [G]off scheduled train comin' two miles
out

[G]Let It Roll, Let It Roll,Let It [C] Roll Lord, Let
It [G] Roll
[D]Pick up your belongings boys and scatter about
We've got an [G]off scheduled train comin' two miles
out

[G]Everybody's scramblin' and a jumpin' around
Pickin' up the money and tearing the tee-pee down
[C]The foreman's about to panic and a go insane
[G]Tryin' to get the workers out of the way of the
train
[D]Engineer blowing the whistle loud and long
[G]Can't stop a train you've got to let it roll on

[G]Let It Roll, Let It Roll, Let It [C]Roll Lord, Let
It [G]Roll
[D]Engineer blowing the whistle loud and long
[G]Can't stop a train you've got to let it roll on

the missing link

Post by the missing link »

Anything Johnny Cash gives me r.r. vibes

conrail_engineer

Post by conrail_engineer »

Not to hijack the thread...but there was a Depression-era folksong that Lucius Bebee printed the lyrics to, in one of his books. I've been looking for it, for the lyrics and/or an MP3, for years...a Web search came up nada.

This was the one which Blue Oyster Cult ripped off many years ago...the lyrics went something like:

Home in Chicago;

Home in Kampakee;

Home in Indianapolis;

Home I'll never be.

Home in Ohio

Home in Tennesee

Home in Montana...

Ain't no home for me...


I'd like to get the full, correct lyrics and background. I would research it but that would take a trip to the library and MANY DAYS going through Bebee's volumous works...

steemtrayn
Posts: 758
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: Hudson County, NJ

Post by steemtrayn »

Green Light on the Southern by Norman Blake
Just be glad you don't have to press "2" for English.

If Cass Elliot shared her sandwich with Karen Carpenter, they'd both be alive today.

Sir Ray
Posts: 2044
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: The Industrial Northeast

Post by Sir Ray »

OK, Hijack a bit...
Not full songs, but for some reason around the late 60s-early 70s there was several mention of diesels in British Rock Songs...but of course I can only think of 2 right now.

Cream (Clapton) - White Room
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.

Elton John - Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
Get about as oiled as a diesel train

Can anyone remember more rock songs of the era which mention Diesels specifically, as above (e.g. the Beatles Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds 'Picture yourself on a train in a station' would NOT count)
And I mean the era of the 1960s/1970s, so Blackie and The Rodeo Kings 49Tons Forty-nine tons of diesel locomotive doesn't count neither.

powerpro69

Post by powerpro69 »

Didn't see this one mentioned, but it was one of my favs as a kid

Well, they handed him his orders in Monroe, Virginia,
Sayin', "Steve, you're way behind time.
This is not 38, it is Old 97
You must put her into Spencer on time."

Well, the engineer he said to his black, greasy fireman
"Shovel on a little more coal,
And when we cross that White Oak Mountain
You can watch Old 97 roll."

It's a mighty hard road from Lynchburg to Danville
A road with a three-mile grade.
It was on that grade that he lost his airbrake,
You can see what a jump she made.

He was goin' down the grade making 90 miles an hour,
When his whistle broke into a scream,
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle,
He was scalded to death by the steam.

Now the telegram came into Washington Station
And this is what it said:
That brave engineer that drove old 97
Is layin' down in Danville, dead.

Now listen, all you ladies, you must all take a warning,
From this story a lesson learn:
Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband,
He may leave you and never return.

Aa3rt
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:09 pm
Location: La Plata, MD, MP 38.8 on the Pope's Creek sub

Post by Aa3rt »

powerpro69 wrote:Didn't see this one mentioned, but it was one of my favs as a kid
The song is "The Wreck of Old 97", which has been recorded by numerous artists. It commemorates a wreck of a Southern Railway mail train in Danville, Virginia.

For more background, check out:

http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSng ... Old97.html
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

BR&P
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Post by BR&P »

You want train songs? We got train songs!

The book is "Long Steel Rail - The Railroad In American Folksong" by Norm Cohen. It was published in 1981 by University of Illinois Press. It's about 2 inches thick, over 700 pages, and covers everything from "Casey Jones" to "Rock Island Line" to dozens you never heard. It is quite a detailed study and explores various versions of the same song, discusses history and anything you can think of. The Wreck of Old 97 mentioned above has its own chapter over 20 pages long, including the lyrics, a photo of the wreck, numerous different sets of lyrics, and discussion of a protracted lawsuit on authorship.

Wrecks were the inspiration for many songs and a listing of songs includes

The Wreck Of The Royal Palm
The Train Is Off The Track
The Wreck Of The Virginian
Wreck of the Old 97
Wreck of the 1256
The Wreck of the Number 9
The Wreck of the Norfolk and Western Cannon Ball
Wreck on the L&N Railroad

An interesting book, got it as a gift years ago but it's probably still out there on e-Bay or Amazon.

Aa3rt
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:09 pm
Location: La Plata, MD, MP 38.8 on the Pope's Creek sub

Let's revive an old thread...

Post by Aa3rt »

We had another thread on railroad songs about eighteen months ago that seems to have been lost in the shuffle. In addition to Long Steel Rail (incidentally, this book was republished in April 2000, again by the University of Illinois Press) another book in my collection, dedicated to trainwreck songs is Scalded To Death By The Steam by Katie Letcher Lyle.

The older thread, titled Railroad Songs can be found here:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4303
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

BR&P
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Post by BR&P »

I'm still hoping to get Willie Nelson to record a modified version of "On The Road Again":

On the ground again
The #@&*% train is on the ground again
The rotten ties have let us down again
the rails spread and we're on the ground again.

;-)

route_rock

Post by route_rock »

What about Hank Snow!!!???? Hes the singing brakeman and has some good RR songs. CHeck his greatest hits CD. One very nice one about Nova Scotia with references to trains, Golden Rocket is the first song on the CD very cool, and of course the best break up trian song Movin on.

Aa3rt
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:09 pm
Location: La Plata, MD, MP 38.8 on the Pope's Creek sub

Post by Aa3rt »

route_rock wrote:What about Hank Snow!!!???? Hes the singing brakeman and has some good RR songs. CHeck his greatest hits CD.
route_rock: Are you sure you're not confusing Hank Snow with Jimmie Rodgers?

Hank Snow was a native of Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada. While he did have a connection with the Canadian National Railway, Jimmie Rodgers is well known as "The Singing Brakeman" and even released an album with that title.

Hank Snow website: http://www.hanksnow.com

Jimmie Rodgers website: http://www.jimmierodgers.com/home.html

Alabama Music Hall Of Fame: http://www.alamhof.org/rodgersj.htm

"Singing Brakeman" CD Review: http://www.musicweb-international.com/j ... JS2001.htm
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

Engineer James
Posts: 1195
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 7:47 am
Location: South of CH 17.9 CSXT Detroit Subdivision

Post by Engineer James »

TEXAS 1957- Guy Williams

On the ATSF

City of New Orleans

I mean these are good songs....

steemtrayn
Posts: 758
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: Hudson County, NJ

Post by steemtrayn »

California Zephyr by Mary McCaslin
Just be glad you don't have to press "2" for English.

If Cass Elliot shared her sandwich with Karen Carpenter, they'd both be alive today.

bill haithcoat

classic railroad songs

Post by bill haithcoat »

Reference to the "Wreck of old 97".

Let it be noted that the reference to train 38, i.e. "it was not 38 but was old 97" is an older number for the Crescent.

The Crescent used to be numbers 37 southbound 38 northbound. Different numbers from today's Crescent, 19 and 20. Of course today's Crescent is more like the former Southerner but that is for another topic, another time another day.

My mother used to sing the "Wreck of old 97" to me. When my mother was elderly and ill we took a delightful trip from Atlanta to New York on the Crescent and I was able to point out to her that we were traveling right over the famous wreck sight, between Lynchburg and Davnille.

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