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  • What Are the Best Train Songs Ever Written?

    Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:48:13

    What Are the Best Train Songs Ever Written? - No, we're not talking about the Pat Monahan-fronted, "Hey, Soul Sister" band, either!

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    • Johnny Cash - NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 02: Joanne Cash Yates attends the Screening of the movie ÒGospel RoadÓ during the Johnny Cash Birthday Celebration 2014 at The Johnny Cash Museum on March 2, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Johnny Cash - NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 02: Joanne Cash Yates, Museum Founder Bill Miller, and Pastor Harry Yates attend the Screening of the movie ÒGospel RoadÓ during the Johnny Cash Birthday Celebration 2014 at The Johnny Cash Museum on March 2, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Johnny Cash - NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 02: Joanne Cash Yates and Pastor Harry Yates attend the Screening of the movie ÒGospel RoadÓ during the Johnny Cash Birthday Celebration 2014 at The Johnny Cash Museum on March 2, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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    All the live long day!

    The railroad system is largely obsolete in terms of transporting mass amounts of people. People fly or drive or bus it nowadays; they rarely take external trains, which is sad, since there is something so romantic about taking a train. And we don't mean subways, which are trains, too. Those are different.

    Trains are still used and operational, but not as much! That said, there have been lots of songs written about trains over the years as part of American culture. What are the best train songs ever written? And no, we aren't referring to Train, the Pat Monahan-fronted band, which fired off hits like "Hey, Soul Sister" or "Drops of Jupiter."

    "Really, outside of the basics — sex, death, love, God, food, dances, and drugs — have so many popular songs ever been written about anything else?" asked writer Kevin Baker when making this list. Baker, who wrote about the lost glory of America's railroads for the July issue of Harper's Magazine, counts down the 23 best train songs, from Johnny Cash to "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

    See the list here.

    What is your favorite song about trains? And we've been hearing that the next season of True Detective will focus on the dawn of the railroad transport system in the U.S.! #WeMissHartandCohle.

    —Katie Sheehan
    06.27.14


    Photo: "Ascending the Alleghanies," Harper’s Magazine



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