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It was three things that a black person didn't do. Don't touch a white woman, a white face cow, and a bale of cotton, and you could get along. - Arthur Crudup

Author Topic: Train and railroad songs  (Read 7778 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2005, 12:59:32 PM »
I prefer 'wondrous combination' myself, especially now I know the story. This represents evolution of the vernacular, in motion.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 01:01:08 PM by Rivers »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2007, 10:29:30 AM »
Tagging having brought this ancient discussion to light I thought I'd chip in with a superb book written by Norm Cohen entitled Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong. It was published in 1981 by Illlinois UP. I guess it's long out of print but those with more than just a cursory interest in the topic are recommended to search the web for cheap, used copies. Be warned it's a weighty tome of over 700 pages and postage could exceed cost of purchase.  ;D

Offline Stuart

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2007, 12:40:06 PM »
...I thought I'd chip in with a superb book written by Norm Cohen entitled Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong. It was published in 1981 by Illinois UP...

Thanks so much for the info Bunker Hill. A quick check shows that it was reprinted in 2000. Here's the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0252068815

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2007, 11:55:06 PM »
...I thought I'd chip in with a superb book written by Norm Cohen entitled Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong. It was published in 1981 by Illinois UP...
Thanks so much for the info Bunker Hill. A quick check shows that it was reprinted in 2000. Here's the Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0252068815
Cover has changed somewhat but the price ($32.95) isn't that far off what the hardback first edition set me back (42GBP)! I guess Norm has updated the chronological list of recordings and their availabiity which end each chapter.

Offline Bluesymel

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2007, 10:04:59 AM »
Don't know if this was mentioned or not. "Waiting For A Train" by Mississippi Jon Hurt which I believe he originally did as "Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me".

Mel

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2007, 05:55:51 PM »
There Is The Classic "This Train"

 My Favorite Versions Were recorded By Big Bill Broonzy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2007, 12:05:11 PM »
I just ordered Long Steel Rail through a local bookstore and they said it's out of print though it's still available on Amazon.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 12:08:49 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2007, 12:35:08 PM »
I just ordered Long Steel Rail through a local bookstore and they said it's out of print though it's still available on Amazon.

Hi Rivers:

Your local bookstore just might have tried to order an earlier edition that is OP. I checked http://www.bookfinder.com/ using the ISBN (0252068815) from my copy that I purchased last year and many sellers of new editions came up. Amazon appears to be the cheapest--not much discount on this title.

Here's the link to the page at University of Illinois Press"

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/s00/cohenn.html

Hope this helps.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2007, 12:58:04 PM »
Thanks Stuart, that was a very confusing experience. I need a cup of tea and a lie down.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2007, 03:10:05 PM »
Thanks Stuart, that was a very confusing experience. I need a cup of tea and a lie down.

Hi Rivers,

I'm sorry if I was the source of the confusion. My advice is to just order it from Amazon. IMNSHO, it's top shelf stuff.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2007, 08:23:16 AM »
No, I was confused before you posted, you straightened me out.

Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2007, 11:50:24 AM »
my latest favorite railroad songs are Sleepy john Estes'. Railroad Police Blues, Hobo Jungle Blues etc. I love his references to specific railroad lines, my favorite being "lord I hate to hear, M&O central blow, when my feet get tickled, and I wanna go"
I think he mentions L&N and some other stuff, absolute poetry
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline Bricktown Bob

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2007, 07:47:32 AM »
Nice list of roads in Jimmie Rodgers's more-or-less-autobiographical yodeling brakeman song:

Jimmie the Kid
Jimmie Rodgers
(with yodeling and Hawaiian guitar)

I'll tell you a story of Jimmie the Kid, he's a brakeman you all know
He was born(ed) in Mississippi a-way down south, and he flagged on the T&NO

He yodeled to fame on the Boston-Maine, the Wabash and the TP
From the old Grand Trunk to the Cotton Belt he yodeled on the Santa Fe

On the Lehigh Valley he yodeled a while, then he went to the Nickel Plate
From the old Lake Shore and the Erie line he yodels to a Cadillac 8

He yodeled his way to the C&A, the Lackawanna and IC
He rode a rattler called the Cannonball, then he yodeled on the MK&T

The last three verses don't mention specific lines, but do include the use of "Cadillac" as a verb.  So here we have:

T&NO: Texas and New Orleans Railroad
Boston-Maine: Boston & Maine RR (B&M)
Wabash: Wabash Railway/Railroad
TP: Texas and Pacific Railway Company
Grand Trunk: Grand Trunk Western Railway, US operation of the Canadian Grand Trunk (Canadian National (CNA))
Cotton Belt: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company (SSW)
Santa Fe: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF)
Lehigh Valley: Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company (or just Lehigh Valley RR)
Nickel Plate: NKP, the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Company (NYC&STL)
Lake Shore: Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway
Erie: Erie Railroad (merged with Lackawanna 1960)
C&A: Chicago & Alton Railway Company
Lackawanna: the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR
IC: Illinois Central
Cannonball: well, was the name of the IC Chicago-New Orleans passenger run when Casey Jones ...
MK&T: Missouri-Kansas-Texas RR (Katy)

I never really knew that Grand Funk Railroad took their name from an actual railroad.  So, they sang "We're an American band," but took their name from a Canadian company.  Oh, the irony.


Offline Rivers

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2007, 09:10:46 AM »
Quote
On the Lehigh Valley he yodeled a while, then he went to the Nickel Plate
From the old Lake Shore and the Erie line he yodels to a Cadillac 8

Was Jimmie just looking for a good rhyme there d'ya think? Or is there a deeper meaning? It's great poetically but doesn't make much literal sense.

There's not much info on this song in Porterfield's book. It was released backed with 'My Blue Eyed Jane'.

I'll add that Cadillac 8 to the brands & products thread as well.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2007, 09:21:53 AM by Rivers »

Online dj

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Re: Train and railroad songs
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2007, 09:49:23 AM »
Quote
Was Jimmie just looking for a good rhyme there d'ya think? Or is there a deeper meaning?

General Motors made diesel locomotive engines.  I'm not sure if the Cadillac division made them or not.  And there were 8 cylinder diesel locomotive engines.  So I'd assume he was yodeling to the sound of the locomotive engine.
 

 


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