Sunday, December 16, 2007

900 Miles :: Bethany & Rufus

The first time I heard the fabulous tunage of Bethany and Rufus, I secretly hoped that they were lovers and that maybe some day they'd have a beautiful, musical love child. Funny how often that’s the first thought I have when I hear a great musical collaboration - I immediately want these two wonderful people to get busy enriching the population of the earth. Of course, then I realize that this is just what they've done and that I'm listening to their fabulous love child. Neat how that works.



This particular song is great for train rides, but then, there are few songs that AREN'T great for a train ride. It might just be me, but with the rocking and the giant windows streaked with blurred scenery and the tendency for contemplatude that only a long journey can create, any kind of music has a good chance of getting to me.

I had the pleasure of traveling across the country by train over Thanksgiving this year. Some friends of mine were taking the train from La Crosse to New Orleans (through Chicago) and I decided to travel down with them to visit my dad.

Everything Ani DiFranco said about trains showing travelers "America's Backyard" with taunting graffiti and waving kids is totally true (what's the name of that poem?). And traveling slower helped our souls to keep up with our bodies in a way that plane travel doesn't allow. We had more time to rest and play and meet our seat neighbors. I wouldn't want to do it alone, but traveling by train in the company of two good friends and three fabulous kids was definitely a highlight of my Thanksgiving. Taking the train also gave me a better idea of how very spread out my family is - and of just how sweet greetings can be at journey's end.

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900 MILES (originally by Ramblin' Jack Elliot)

I'm walking down this track,
I've got tears in my eyes,
Trying to read a letter from my home.
If this train runs me right
I'll be home tomorrow night.
I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

I'll pawn you my watch
And I'll pawn you my chain;
Pawn you my gold diamond ring.
If this train runs me right
I'll be home tomorrow night.
I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

The rain I ride on
Is a thousand coaches long.
You can hear that whistle blow a hundred miles.
If this train runs me right
I'll be home tomorrow night.
I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

If my woman says so
I will railroad no more
I'll sidetrack my wheeler and go home.
If this train runs me right
I'll be home tomorrow night.
I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

2 comments:

Dylan said...

this song reminds me of a song from my childhood called 500 miles by peter, paul and mary.. also about train travel...
anyways.. lovely song

Quaking Aspen said...

That is beautiful.