Friday, 7 August 2015

An ABBA Contrafactum (mishmash) part #2: "Those Were Our Trains"

 
Illinois Central Railroad:
 Mississippi Valley route

POST #85
PASTICHE OF 2 ORIGINAL SONGS, with interchange of lyrics and themes; the more complex term contrafactum is explained in the previous post, "Starry Notions."
ORIGINAL SONG#1-MUSIC: "Those Were The Days", by Boris Fomin. This song was first recorded with Russian lyrics in 1925; translated by Gene Raskin, it was recorded by the Limeliters. Subsequently it became a worldwide hit single as recorded by Mary Hopkin, 1968; Paul McCartney produced the session for the new Apple label.
ORIGINAL SONG#2 - LYRICS: "The City of New Orleans". Steve Goodman wrote this song after riding the iconic train in 1971, and played it for Arlo Guthrie, who recorded it on his album "Hobo's Lullaby", 1972.
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, April, 2015.
KEYWORDS: goldenoldy, mishmash

An A-B B-A-CONTRAFACTUM


1)Singable Introduction 

2)"Starry Notions"

 =see the previous posting





3)"Those Were Our Trains"

(to the tune of Those Were the Days" as performed by Mary Hopkin) 
Fifty years ago a lonely whistle –
Goodman’s ode to disappearing trains.
Arlo Guthrie covered his epistle
While passengers took off for cars and planes.

Those were our trains my friend, their near demise portended -
Grid derailed while Willie topped the charts,
A spate of bankruptcies – Pullman and then Pennsy,
And Congress salvaged the remaining parts.
La la la  la la la  La la la  la la la
Amtrak can manage the remaining parts.

Riding on the City of New Orleans.
Mississippi Central morning rail (1)
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors, twenty sacks of mail.
The train they call the C. of N.O.

Along the odyssey, pull out at Kankakee
And roll along past houses, farms and fields
Past towns that have no names, freight yards full of old men

And graveyards of the rusted automobiles.
La la la  la la la    La la la  la la la
The graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
The train they call The City of New Orleans -

I'll go five hundred miles ere day is done.

The towns and people seem part of a troubling dream
But the steel rails no longer have the blues
Conductor sings again, passengers please refrain -
This line makes profit hauling coal and crude.
La la la  la la la    La la la  la la la
We now make profit hauling coal and crude.

Twenty years ago, Illinois Central
Was bought out by our neighbor’s CNR (2)
Amtrak runs the intercity service
Ridership keeps creeping up so far.

Stations and riders seem like a non-profit scheme
Yet subsidies have solved Steve Goodman’s blues
Rail’s bottom-line’s now great, its locomotive’s freight
Passenger service serves as the caboose.
La la la  la la la    La la la  la la la
Passenger service serves as the caboose.

(1) The Mississippi Central, operating from Mississippi to Tennessee, was absorbed into the Illinois Central system in 1878.
(2) Canadian National Railways



Performing Notes for "Those Were Our Trains" 

Ukuleles or other stringed instruments e.g. balalaikas, play tremolo as indicated by ~~~

[Dm~~~]
[Dm!] Fifty years [Gm!] ago a lonely [Dm~] whistle –
[Dm!] Goodman’s ode to [D7!] disappearing [Gm~] trains
[Gm7!] Arlo Guthrie [Gm6!] covered his e[Dm~]pistle
While [E!] passengers took [E7!] off for cars and [A7!] planes.

[A7+] Those were [A7] our [Dm] trains my friend, their near-[Gm]-demise portended 
[Gm7] Grid de[C]railed while [C7] Willie topped the [F] charts
[F6] A spate of [Gm7] bankrupt[Gm6]cies – Pullman and [Dm] then Pennsy,
And Congress [A7] salvaged [A7+] the remaining [Dm] parts.
[Dm!] La-[A7!]la-la  [Dm] la-la-la    La-[D7]la-la  [Gm] la-la-la
Amtrak can [A7] manage [A7+] public-[A7]-service [Dm] parts.








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