Sunday, June 5, 2011

Train of thought

 I can't seem to leave this theme of trains alone.  Here are some of my favourite artists singing songs about trains.  I actually hadn't heard the first three songs before (I came upon them serendipitously) but they are fast becoming new/old favourites.

Neil Young / Boxcar

Remember this guy?  I posted about him just recently.

Murray McLauchlan / Never Did Like That Train

April Wine / Fast Train

This isn't my favourite April Wine song, by any means, but the video has some excellent visuals so I had to include it.

You know I had to include a Gordon Lightfoot song... Although this one only makes passing mention of the train.  The singer is on the train, escaping to the northland from a romance gone wrong. I have already included his other train songs in previous blog posts.  Steel Rail Blues in my tribute to The Last Spike, and Canadian Railway Trilogy in my very first blog post.  You may find this hard to believe but I actually didn't realize I was so enamoured of trains until I started blogging!

Gordon Lightfoot / Sixteen Miles

I have seen this next group perform this song live and I am a big fan of this indie Canadian duo. Corin Raymond is the singer/songwriter with Sean Cotton providing harmonizing vocals and guitar.  I was actually saving this song for a Halloween post because it's kind of spooky and only incidentally about a train, but I couldn't resist including a song from my new fave Canadian band with the likes of old standards like Neil, Gord and Murray!

The Undesirables / Night Train

Not only do I enjoy songs about trains but artwork as well.  I have included Monet's paintings of trains on previous posts, here are a couple of different artists who feature a train in their paintings.

 Alex Colville /Horse and Train

I am an admirer of Alex Colville's paintings, but I also like this because it was featured on an album cover by Bruce Cockburn (I will have to do a post on him sometime!)

 Here is another one of his with a train theme.  Rather romantic, isn't it?

Alex Colville / Soldier and Girl at Station

J.M.W Turner / Rain. Steam and Speed 
This has always been one of my favourite paintings. It was part of the set of paintings in the art auction board game "Masterpiece" which I used to enjoy playing as a child.  That was my introduction to Monet as well.  Speaking of Monet, this painting was one of the ones he studied during his first visit to London.  It is very impressionistic, isn't it?  It must have been very inspiring to him.

Here is what I have found very inspiring.... Fan videos starring Richard Armitage!  Here is a lovely one of him as John Thornton in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.  The video uses music from the miniseries to show us the final scene in the train station.  Every scene in this production is a work of art as is the score by Martin Phipps, but this scene is the most gloriously romantic in film history!  It makes me forget the fact that it would have never actually happened at a real train station in England during the Victorian Age. It keeps me from thinking at all! But who wants to think, when you are watching the best kiss ever?!

Veryval / North and South 'When it happened at the train station.....


bccmee said...

There is something very appealing about trains. Perhaps because they represent transitions: we go from one destination to the next, and we often leave others (or are left) behind.

Phylly3 said...

@bccmee-- Definitely transitions! With me, it was coming and going between southern Ontario and northern Ontario to visit my old home town (and all those ties) and my new home. The old ties won. Hmmm... I wonder why they call them rairoad "ties".
I think we're on the right track! (Somebody STOP me!)

MaryKwizMiz said...

rats.. some gremlin or other just ate my longest comment ever :)
will try again tomorrow .. off now, humming Downtown Train
BTW - image google 'molli bad doberan'...oh sweet bird of youth ;)
thanks for the post.. and the mail... I'll try and 'retaliate' soon.. with a tRAin 'gift' :)

Phylly3 said...

@TTN -- Sorry you lost your comment! I hate when that happens. Nice to hear from you. I love Rod Stewart's Downtown Train too! I'll have to remember that one it I do another train post. Hey! It could happen! :D

Anonymous said...

Trains, Turner, music, (Monet and RA), Colville! One of the most evocative postings ever, Phylly.

There is a strange sense sometimes on a train journey, of time standing still, as in a Colville painting. The monotomous sound of the wheels on the rails? Caught somewhere between here and there?

Memories: on the train from Athens to Istanbul. Train descending at dawn. Constantinople spread below the hills, minarets rising within the purple and gold of the early morn. No photographs; just a vivid photo in memory, which no physical photo can recreate the sensation of that moment...

And yes, crossing Canada from Vancouver to Ontario (3rd class seat, again :D) and the August golden prairies and the blue photo, again, just the vision in memory.


Franziska San Pedro said...

Hi Phyllys,
when I was younger, I used to hang out at train stations because the idea of people coming and going just fascinated me. I made up stories where they would go and where they came from. The travel bug is in my DNA. Today, I love airports even though I hate to sit in a plane (too much business traveling in the past 10 years..).
I also love William Turner, there is so much energy in that painting,

Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress

Anonymous said...

I love favourite mode of transportation by far! And Fitzg, I would love to cross Canada by train. How was it??

A bit worried for that horse in the Colville painting. Hopefully he got off the track before the train met him? And talk about romantic...kissing at a train station...

Best train / kiss scene? Definitely the ending of N&S. :D

Anonymous said...

@Calexora, pretty uncomfortable. We're not talking Poirot Orient Express here (or on the Athens-Istanbul trip - strictly sitting upright on uncomfortable seats for hours...) But the immensity and diverse landscape of this country -well, the Trans-Siberian someday? Or India by train? References to Paul Theroux for train travel...


Phylly3 said...

@fitzg -- What lovely visions you describe, if you are not a poet I would be surprised! Thanks for mentioning Theroux - I should read him!
I actually preferred coach seats as there are no arm rests to get in the way so I could sprawl between 2 seats to sleep at night.

Phylly3 said...

@ Franziska -- Thanks for your comment. I love your paintings! I am not surprised you like Turner. I also enjoy people watching and there is certainly plenty of time to indulge in that pastime while waiting in train stations and airports.

Phylly3 said...

@Calexora -- Yes, that is definitely a dark horse, which I would hope would have the good sense to get out of the way of the oncoming train. To me the painting speaks of technology and nature on a collision course, with nature being the casualty. But the technology is driven by us, we do have a choice to stop it, and nature might also change course (adapt). So although it is an unnerving picture, I can still hope for a positive outcome.