johnwood1946

New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Two Old Railroad Songs

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The first song is The Canadian Pacific Railway and is from about 1887.

The song was a celebration of the completion of the railroad across Canada, with images of the ‘Great Lakes’, ‘prairie lands for all’, and ‘ocean linked to ocean with strong iron bands’. The other images of the snake, the rat, and the prairie dog are less picturesque and do not seem to match.

… the first song continued

The second song is a hymn, Life’s Railway to Heaven, and is from about 1891.

The first priority in building a railroad was to get it finished and to start making money. Quality construction could wait, and improvements were made over many decades. Therefore the song presents every feature along the railway as a danger; including obstructions, curves, fills, tunnels, and bridges.

Hymns based upon occupations were common and the imagery of heaven as the Union Depot and of God as the Superintendent would have seemed less ridiculous then than they do now.

… the second song continued

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Written by johnwood1946

October 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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