Photo taken back in 2008 at the Bridge of Dun end of the local volunteer-run Caledonian Railway.
So TFE's task this week is that we write something to do with trains. For various reasons I've not really been in a position to come up with a new poem this time (and hey, I did write TWO new poems for last week's effort!) but I've managed a recent poem or so and a couple of bits of music. Think of this more as the buffet car than the main body of the train. Or something.
First off, in only October 09 (back here if you want the intro and build-up) I was writing about trains and history and my hometown and songwriting (amongst other things) in a poem called 'Rolling stock'. Here's the poem again:
People talk, people sing about homeward bound Of the place where they stay, where they'd like to remain But the wheels of our lives go round and around
Take a town, Darlington, once so key and renowned As the place where they rolled out the age of the train People talk, people sing about homeward bound
The tracks of our trains may now seem run aground But in 1825 they were our future - plain The industry wheels going round and around
Locomotives moved coal and then folk by the pound All thanks to the whirring of George Stephenson's brain People sing, people long to be homeward bound
But progress takes over the wheel, so we've found From the foot to the cart, from the car to the plane Faster and further, around and around
Still we look for a home and listen for its sound Where will it be, do we know its refrain? People talk, people sing about homeward bound But the wheels of our lives they go round and around
I also wrote a poem (that became a song) about trains and planes a while back. This one came about because one day I was just about to board a Scotrail train from Montrose down to Leuchars (south of here) when I saw and heard fighter jets zooming by. Leuchars is the local base here for fighter planes so I pondered on how much quicker they would get to their destination than me (amongst other things). I read this first as a poem, then it got a chorus and a few outings as a song but for now (because I'm not working regularly with a musician) it's a poem again. I've left the chorus in anyway though...sing along if you feel the urge (with or without music).
Leuchars, here we come
It's the strangest coincidence Meeting you here today Here's me on the train There's you up and away
We're both heading south Destination the same I'm on my way to Edinburgh You're in a jet fighter plane
Chorus Up and away Up and away Come back quickly Slowly stay
We could chat on our trip We could flirt, gently so Except you're moving so fast And I'm moving so slow
You travel the air With such style and such speed No stopping for passengers No in-flights to read
You race past the geese And they move pretty fast They hit all their targets No Sat Nav or maps
You can't smell our loos And you can't meet our guard You see us as tiny specks Just as we see the stars
I'm not one for war For its gadgets and toys And I know that sometimes You can leave more than noise
But here you have power You roar by, stir my heart Make kites look unambitious If a good place to start
How I hate to fly bulk Hate those cattle truck things But you're something much finer You're excitement with wings
And the whole world is laid Before your Top Gun eyes Take me with you, my pilot To your view in the skies
Chorus to fade
Now for other people's music...who sings more about trains than blues singers and blues bands? One band who's been to our folk club a couple of times is the international-but-based-in-England blues band Spikedrivers. They're really great live and I would recommend you see them if you get the chance. However until then here's a clip of them doing a suitably trainy song called 'Train done gone':
Also here's English folk singer Pete Morton singing his much-covered 'Another Train' at what seems to be a house concert in the Netherlands:
I mentioned him once before (he has a song called 'I'm in love with Emily Dickinson' as much as anything else).
So, that's my contribution this week. And don't forget...if you have a water poem you want to share with the world head down to the post before this (scroll down or click 'older post' or go here) to see the terms and conditions.
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.