Train songs: Rene's 10 picks

Posted by Rene Schweitzer
on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

About a year ago, Bob Keller and I tossed around an idea of doing a post about train songs. I found a Wikipedia page about train songs and was blown away by the quantity of songs. . .and the idea faded away. The other day, Bob learned that our sister publication, Trains, is doing stories about train songs in their September 2017 issue. We'll each be doing a post about train songs we like. Some you will likely already know of, but others may be new. I even found one that's not listed on the Wikipedia page! We'll embed a YouTube video link if one is availble.

What are YOUR favorite train songs? Share them in the comments. If we get enough suggestions, we may do a "reader's choice" post.

I have eclectic taste in music. I grew up listening to country, but have a little bit of everything on my iPod. Here are some train songs I like, in no particular order.

1. Baby Likes to Rock It by the Tractors (1995)

This song gets you dancing, and the video won Video of the Year in 1995 by the CMA. The video is, of course, train themed.

2. The One After 909 by the Beatles (1957/1970)

I included two dates because this was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney years before it was recorded. This video has vintage audio and footage (yes, some include trains).

3. Love Train by Big & Rich (2004)

Big & Rich is a country group that knows how to rock. This song was not released as a single, but I love the beat and the message. This song was not listed on the Wikipedia page--points for me!

4. My Baby Thinks He's a Train by Roseanne Cash (1981)

Another toe-tapping song by a great singer, Roseanne Cash.

5. Conjunction Junction (Schoolhouse Rock, 1973)

Likely, this was my first introduction to a train-themed song. Apparently, I'm not alone in my love for Schoolhouse Rock, because this video has nearly 4 million views!

6. Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash (1955,1968 live version)

One of Johnny Cash's "signature" songs, charting on both the country and "top 100" lists. The video is the live version.

7. Rock Island Line (traditional, Ringo Starr's version is 2012)

There are many recordings of this song, as early as the 1930s. I really like Ringo Starr's version from his Ringo 2012 album.

8. Always Will by Wynonna Judd (1997)

I know, this isn't a true train song, but the opening lines sure are train themed: "Life's just a train, comin' down the track. Every minute is a boxcar that don't come back." (Note: The video is the song, but I'm not sure who the creator is.)

9. Engine, Engine Number 9 by Roger Miller (1965)

The footage is from 1966. Everyone, sing along to this oldie but goodie!

10. End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys (1989)

In the late 1980s, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne formed this "super group" band and released two albums. Shortly after the album was released, Roy Orbison passed away. The video is bittersweet, with the empty rocking chair filling in for Roy Orbison. Great song, great singers singing in a boxcar. It doesn't get much better than this.

Bonus song for my hubby!

The Petticoat Junction Theme song. He loves this show and has been working his way through the episodes of the DVD collection.

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