Mudcat Café message #209338 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20196   Message #209338
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
09-Apr-00 - 07:01 PM
Thread Name: Train Songs
Subject: ADD: The Iron Horse ^^
A regrettably US-sided thread ... Here's a train song from Scotland, sung by Tony Cuffe on 'When First I Came To Caledonia' (1988):

(Charles Balfour)

Come Hielandman, come Lowlandman, come every man on earth, man
And I'll tell ye how I got on, atween Dundee and Perth, man
I gaed upon an iron road, a rail they did it ca', man
And ruggit [pulled] by an iron horse, an awfy beast to draw, man

There were hooses in a lang straight row a-standin' upon wheels, man
And the pair o' chiels that fed the brute were black as ony de'ils, man
And ne'er a thing they gave the beast but only coals to eat, man
'Twas the queerest beast that e'er I saw, for it had wheels for feet, man

The beast it roared and aff we gaed through water, steam and stanes, man
We gaed at sic a fearful rate I thought we'd brak' oor banes, man
By and by we stoppit at a place ca'd something-Gowrie
But ne'er a word had I to say but only sit and glower, aye

And after that we crossed the Tay and landed into Perth, man
I vow it was the queerest place that e'er I saw on Earth, man
For the hooses and the iron horse were far aboon the land, man
And how they got them up the stairs I cannae understand, man

But noo I'm safely landed and my feet are on the sod, man
If I gang tae Dundee again I'll tak' another road, man
Though I should gang upon my feet till I'm no' fit to stand, man
Catch me again when I'm ta'en in wi' the terrible iron horse, man

[1988:] A song from Ford's "Vagabond Songs" in which an old-fashioned country farmer confronts that marvel of 19th century high technology: the steam engine. According to Ford, the song was written by Charles Balfour, stationmaster at Glencarse, between Dundee and Perth, and was first sung at a "festival of railway servants" held at Perth in 1848. (Notes Tony Cuffe, 'When First I Went To Caledonia') ^^