Daddy, What Is A Train
Starlight on the Rails
November 30, 2008
Banjo Tuned E, Key D, no Capo
Daddy, what's a train? Is it something I can ride?
Does it carry lots of grown-up folks and little kids inside?
Is it bigger than our house?
Well how can I explain when my little boy asks me,
Daddy whats a train?
(sung to chorus tune)
When I was just a boy living by the track
Us kids'd gather up the coal in a great big gunny sack,
And then we'd hear the warning sound as the train pulled into view
And the engineer would smile and wave as she went rolling through;
She blew so loud and clear
That we covered up our ears
And counted cars as high as we could go.
I can almost hear the steam
And the big old drivers scream
With a sound my little boy will never know.
I guess the times have changed and kids are different now;
Some don't even seem to know that milk comes from a cow.
My little boy can tell the names of all the baseball stars
And I remember how we memorized the names on railroad cars -
The Wabash and TP
Lackawanna and IC
Nickel Plate and the good old Santa Fe;
Names out of the past
And I know they're fading fast
Every time I hear my little boy say.
Well, we climbed into the car and drove down into town
Right up to the depot house but no one was around.
We searched the yard together for something I could show
But I knew there hadn't been a train for a dozen years or so.
All the things I did
When I was just a kid-
How far away the memories appear,
And it's plain enough to see
They mean a lot to me
'Cause my ambition was to be an engineer.
Copyright ©1973, 2000 Bruce Phillips