List of train songs

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"The Carrollton March"
March by Arthur Clifton
Carrollton March 1828.png
Sheet music for the first-known train song[1]
OccasionCommemoration of the groundbreaking for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
PublishedJuly 1, 1828 (1828-07-01): U.S.

A train song is a song referencing passenger or freight railroads. Trains have been a theme in both traditional and popular music since the first half of the 19th century and over the years have appeared in all major musical genres, including folk, blues, country, rock, jazz, world, classical and avant-garde. While the prominence of railroads in the United States has faded in recent decades, the train endures as a common image in popular song.[2][3]

The earliest known train songs date to two years before the first public railway began operating in the United States. "The Carrollton March", copyrighted July 1, 1828, was composed by Arthur Clifton to commemorate the groundbreaking of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Another song written for the occasion, "Rail Road March" by Charles Meineke, was copyrighted two days after Clifton's, one day before the July 4 ceremonies. The number of train songs that have appeared since then is impossible to determine, not only because of the difficulties in documenting the songs but also in defining the genre.[1]

Following is a list of nearly 800 songs by artists worldwide, alphabetized by song title. Most have appeared on commercially released albums and singles and are notable for either their composers, the musicians who performed them, or their place in the history of the form. Besides recorded works, the list includes songs that preceded the first wax cylinder records of the late 1800s and were published as either broadsides or sheet music.

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  • "Under Your Thumb" (Kevin Godley, Lol Creme) by Godley & Creme[806]
  • "Underground Rail Car", also titled "Song of the Fugitive", (George N. Allen),[807] written and published 1854[808]
  • "U.S. Highball" by Harry Partch

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References[edit]

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