I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

The song, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, was copyrighted, in 1936, by the Calumet Music Co.  The following verse is from an earlier, 1894, un-copyrighted version and includes a verse very much like the modern song, though in minstrel dialect:


I been wukkin’ on de railroad
All de livelong day,
I been wukkin’ on de railroad
Ter pass de time away.
Doan’ yuh hyah de whistle blowin’?
Ris up, so uhly in de mawn;
Doan’ yuh hyah de cap’n shouin’,
“Dinah, blow yo’ hawn?”

I’m guessing with today’s header and the picture with today’s post, you can see a common theme.  I biked to work yesterday and on my way home, I unexpectedly encountered this Saint Louis, well actually Saint John, oddity, on Windom Ave.  As you can see someone has converted their entire front yard into a model railroad diorama.  I especially like the park bench on the parking strip.

When I stopped on my way home last night none of the trains were running, but they were all out there.  The next door neighbor returned home while I was taking pictures.  He could see what I was doing and when I went to speak with him, I could see the resignation on his face.  “Oh God, another one”, I saw him think.  I gathered that the railroad diorama was eleven years old before another neighbor’s appearance offered him an escape.  He ignored me there after.  Even though the next door neighbor has grown tired of this attractive nuisance, the neighborhood must still support the railroad, because even with ADT security, without community support, this diorama could not survive.

The weather was colder then forecast and when I arrived at work the guards got quite excited.  They have to stand outside all day so they can appreciate my effort.  I parked my bike just outside the office, so all my co-workers could see it.  This elicited a steady stream of comments and questions throughout the day.

On the way into work, I saw two other cyclists.  On the way home, I saw three more cyclists, plus a guy on a 49cc scooter.  So counting both morning and night and the scooter guy, I made quota.  He had a BMW scooter that looked more like a bicycle then the do most 49cc.  The scooter guy passed me three times, but I caught him each time at a light.  I got 22 miles yesterday.

OBTW, here is a parting quip, courtesy of the Daily Kos:

Captain Chesley Sullenberger would shorten our recession by six months simply by going on TV and saying: “There, there—It’s gonna be okay.”  He’d lengthen it by six months by going on TV and saying: “Brace for impact!”  Man, that’s power.

2 thoughts on “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

  1. Mr. Axe don’t be looking down your nose at small “cc” vehicles. I have one and will be glad to give you good odds I can get to 80 MPH before you do on your bike.


    PS Nice going on your ride to work – keep it up.

  2. Pingback: Do Santa’s trains run on time? « RegenAxe

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