Mudcat Café message #3076075 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20196   Message #3076075
Posted By: Ian Fyvie
16-Jan-11 - 09:35 PM
Thread Name: Train Songs
Subject: RE: Train Songs
A few thoughts....

Train Songs or Railway Songs?

The US tradition seems - as a huge generalization I must admit - to be based on stories of human ordeal, grafted onto trains as the stage/backdrop. I immediately think of this sort of song when I hear the term Train Song.

The UK tradition splits in two: the first (earlier) UK thread focusses on songs about the railwayman's (Engineer's) job working the trains, love of his job etc. The classics in this genre are from Ewan McColl and Dave Goulder and a few others.

The later thread (generally 1970's onward) is more about the social and political effects of cuts and modernization. These are written more from the view of campaigners and rail enthusiasts rather than rail workers. When I hear the term "Railway Song" I think more of this group.

May I (most humbly...) add that I have written over two dozen of this type of song from the late 1960s to late 1980s. Onesuch is a 1980s song about the Swanage Railway (see earlier posting on this thread), which was recorded and released by the band Cottage Industry on their own Rural Records label. I am performing 11 of these at the moment at folk venues.

My website, containing all the lyrics, histories and hopefully music, should be operational by Summer 2011.