FREIGHT TRAIN

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
FREIGHT TRAIN
When Elizabeth Cotton and her brother were playing music together each would have
songs that they called their own, and this was one that she made up and sang as hers. It
was one of the few she ever composed herself and was largely inspired by the train
running near her home. These notes also include a quote from Cotten;
“We used to watch the freight train. We knew the fireman and the brakeman…and the
conductor, my mother used to launder for him. They’d let us ride in the engine…put us in
one of the coaches whilst they were backing up and changing…that was how I got my
first train ride …. We used to walk the trestle and put our ear to the track and listen for the
train to come. My brother, he’d wait for this train to get real close and then he’d hang
down from one of the ties and swing back up after the train had passed over him”.
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going
When I’m dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep
When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she comes rolling by
When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going