Down by the Station

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"Down by the Station"
Song
Written1948
Songwriter(s)Paul Mills, Slim Gaillard

"Down by the Station" (also known as "Down at the Station") is a popular song written by Paul Mills and Slim Gaillard and first recorded by The Slim Gaillard Trio in 1947.[1] The song was most famously recorded by Tommy Dorsey in 1948.

Background[edit]

The song remains popular today as a children's music standard. The opening lines of the song are: Down by the station, early in the morning, see the little pufferbellies all in a row. It is a simple song about a railroad station master seeing the steam locomotives off to work. The song itself is much older than 1948; it has been seen in a 1931 Recreation magazine.[2]

Whether deliberately copied or not, the tune is very closely related to the chorus of the French-Canadian folk song "Alouette".[3] Although the first line is similar to "Alouette", it is more closely related to the tune of "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider," with the first two lines being similar.[original research?] The third line of "Down by the Station" is higher in pitch than the second, and the fourth line returns to the pitch of the first line (except for a higher pitched or onomatopoetic "Toot! Toot!").[original research?]

Other versions[edit]

  • The Four Preps recorded a version of "Down by the Station" in 1959, featuring an entirely different set of lyrics by group members Bruce Belland and Glen Larson. It peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

List of train songs

References[edit]

  1. ^ "secondhandsongs.com". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Lyr Req: Down by the station, early in the morning". Mudcat.org. Archived from the original on 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  3. ^ "Lyr Req: Down by the station, early in the morning". Mudcat.org. Archived from the original on 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-29.[better source needed]
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 314.
  5. ^ RMT-Rede Mundo de Televisão (2016-08-09), Thomas & Friends | Interview - Rev. Wilbert Awdry - TVam (1984), retrieved 2018-01-04