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Freight Train
Composer: Elizabeth Cotten

Freight Train was performed by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the 1990's.

The notes to the 1989 album, Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes, describe the genesis of this song;

When Elizabeth Cotten and her brother were playing music together each would have songs that they called their own, and this was one that she made up and sang as hers. It was one of the few she ever composed herself and was largely inspired by the train running near her home.
These notes also include a quote from Cotten;
We used to watch the freight train. We knew the fireman and the brakeman...and the conductor, my mother used to launder for him. They'd let us ride in the engine...put us in one of the coaches whilst they were backing up and changing...that was how I got my first train ride .... We used to walk the trestle and put our ear to the track and listen for the train to come. My brother, he'd wait for this train to get real close and then he'd hang down from one of the ties and swing back up after the train had passed over him.



Jerry Garcia recordings

info Not For Kids Only, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, 1993
info Gather Round: Songs for Kids and Other Folks, Various Artists, 2004

Elizabeth Cotten

info Folk Songs and Instrumentals With Guitar, Elizabeth Cotten, 1958
info 20th Anniversary Concert, New Lost City Ramblers (w/ Elizabeth Cotton), 1978
info When I'm Gone, Elizabeth Cotton, 1979
info Live!, Elizabeth Cotton, 1984
info Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes, Elizabeth Cotten, 1989
info A Fish That's a Song, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 1991
info Folk Song America, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 1994
info Smithsonian Folkways American Roots Collection, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 1996
no info Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 1996
no info Blues with a Feeling, Part 2, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 1997
no info Live!, Elizabeth Cotton, 1998
info This Is Your Land: The Story of American Folk Music, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotton)), 1999
info Vanguard: Roots of Folk, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2002
info Songs from the Heart: The History Of American Folk Music, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2002
no info Vanguard: Roots of the Blues, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2002
info Classic Folk Music from Smithsonian Folkways, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2004
no info Beginner's Guide to American Roots, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2004
no info Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest, Judy Collins / Elizabeth Cotten, 2005
info Classic Railroad Songs from Smithsonian Folkways, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2006
info 50 Years: Where Do You Come from, Where Do You Go?, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotton), 2009

Other recordings

no info Single (Freight Train / Cumberland Gap), Peggy Seeger, 1956
info American Folk Songs Sung by the Seegers, Mike, Peggy, Barbara, and Penny Seeger, 1957
no info Single (Freight Train / The Cotton Song), Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, 1957
no info Muleskinner's Blues, Jack Elliott and Derrol Adams, 1958
info Jackie Washington, Jackie Washington, 1962
no info Bluegrass Favorites, Mac Wiseman, 1962
info Folk Music of Washington Square, Various Artists (Gary Lapow), 1962
info In the Wind, Peter, Paul & Mary, 1963
info The Electric 12 String Guitar, Tom Tedesco, 1964
no info Guitar Country, Chet Atkins, 1964
info In Touch With..., Peter & Gordon, 1964
no info Travelin' with Dave Dudley, Dave Dudley, 1964
info Adventures for 12 String, 6 String and Banjo, Dick Rosmini, 1964
no info Turn Around, Dick & Dee Dee, 1964
no info Best of Chet Atkins, Vol. 2, Chet Atkins, 1965
no info Bummin' Around, Jimmy Dean & Dave Dudley, 1965
info Folk 'n Flute, Bud Shank & the Folkswingers, 1965
no info I Don't Want to See You Again, Peter & Gordon, 1965
no info Guitar Sounds of Lenny Breau, Lenny Breau, 1968
no info Single (Dobro / Freight Train) , Chet Atkins, 196?
no info This Is Chet Atkins, Chet Atkins, 1971
no info Freight Train, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys, 1971
no info Now and Then, Chet Atkins, 1972
no info Back to New Orleans, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, 1973
info Hard Times in the Country, Happy & Artie Traum, 1975
no info Norman Blake and Red Rector, Norman Blake and Red Rector, 1976
info Palace of Songs, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys, 1977
no info Music Fuh Yuh, Taj Mahal, 1977
no info Deep Shady Grove, Evo Bluestein, 197?
no info New Shades of Grass, Various Artists, 197?
no info Solid Gold Guitar, Chet Atkins, 1982
no info Dulcimer Man, Kevin Roth, 1982
info Very Early Joan Baez, Joan Baez, 1982
no info Evo's Autoharp, Evo 113Bluestein, 1985
no info Pickin' on Country, Chet Atkins, 1991
no info Folkways Years, 1955-1992: Songs of Love and Politics, Peggy Seeger, 1992
no info The Rising Sun Collection, Taj Mahal, 1994
no info It's Party Time!: 18 Fun Tracks for All the Family, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt), 1994
no info Duo, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, 1994
info Laughing Waters, Radhika Miller, 1995
no info Radio Gold, Vol. 3, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt/Nancy Whiskey), 1995
no info Conversation with the River, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, 1995
no info Born Under a Bad Sign, Various Artists, 1995
no info Not Much Work For Saturday, Wayne Henderson & Steve Kaufman, 1996
no info Northern Skies, Southern Blues, Stefan Grossman & Duck Baker, 1997
no info Early Years, Joe Meek, 1997
no info Winners, Rusty Draper, 1997
no info Rock 'N Roll Relix: 1954-1959, Various Artists (Rusty Draper), 1997
no info Whole Lotta Rock: 1957, Various Artists (Rusty Draper), 1997
no info In Progress & In Motion (1965-1998), Taj Mahal, 1998
no info 40 Most Popular American Folk Songs, Paul & Margie, 1998
no info A World Without Love/I Don't Want to See You Again, Peter & Gordon, 1998
no info Train Song Sing-Alongs, Kevin Roth, 1998
no info The Collection: Their Greatest Hits & Finest Performances, Peter, Paul & Mary, 1998
info The Old Dominion Masters, Jim & Jesse, 1999
no info The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, 1999
no info Greatest Hits, Rusty Draper, 1999
no info Jukebox Hits of 1957, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Rusty Draper), 1999
no info You Are My Flower, Ida, 1999
info Hey! Look What I've Found, Vol. 11, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt/Nancy Whiskey), 199?
info 40 Most Popular American Folk Songs, Paul & Margie, 199?
no info More Nashville Sounds, Danny Davis & the Nashville Brass, 19??
no info American Guitar, Pat Donohue, 2000
info Aged To Perfection, George Shuffler, 2000
no info Stumbling Uphill, Puckett Family Project, 2000
no info As Good as It Gets: Skiffle, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group), 2000
no info Guitar Country/More of That Guitar Country, Chet Atkins, 2001
no info Sing a Happy Song: The Warner Bros. Recordings, Taj Mahal, 2001
no info Choo Choo Bop, Various Artists (Rusty Draper), 2001
no info Selection of America, Jack Elliot/Derrol Adams, 2001
no info Chas McDevitt and Friends, Chas McDevitt & Friends, 2001
no info Legacy, Doc Watson, 2001
no info More Than 16 Tons of Bluegrass & Other Fine Stuff, Pete Stanley & Wizz Jones, 2001
info Tribute to Bluegrass, Chet Atkins, 2002
no info Ultimate Collection, Peter & Gordon, 2002
no info Michelle: The Pye Anthology, The Overlanders, 2002
no info Song For Greta, James Alan Shelton, 2002
info Legacy, Doc Watson and David Holt, 2002
no info Best Selections, Chet Atkins, 2002
info Patchworks, Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton, 2002
no info She Went Upstairs, Uncle Earl, 2002
info Roots and Branches, Various Artists (Pete Seeger), 2002
info True Vine, Mike Seeger, 2003
info 'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered: Complete Recordings 1951-1964, Mac Wiseman, 2003
no info Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Taj Mahal, Taj Mahal, 2003
no info The Canadian Sweethearts, Bob & Lucille, 2003
no info The Definitive Collection: Knights in Rusty Armour, Peter & Gordon, 2003
no info Freight Train, Chas McDevitt, 2003
no info Songs Just for Kids: Sing With Glee!, Various Artists, 2004
no info I Like Good Bluegrass, Various Artists (Mac Wiseman), 2004
no info The Gathering, The Water Rats, 2004
no info Freight Train Takes Ya Back!, Chas McDevitt/Shirley Douglas, 2004
no info Freight Train: UK Skiffle Express, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt), 2004
no info Sugar Mama Blues, Taj Mahal, 2004
no info The Lost Topic Tapes: Cowes Harbour 1957, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, 2004
info Bluegrass Express, Various Artists (Jim & Jesse), 2004
no info Ain't It a Shame: Decca Singles Compilation 1957-1958, The Bob Cort Skiffle, 2005
info Clouds Over Carolina, Larry Rice, 2005
no info On the Atkins Diet, Michael Coppola, 2005
no info Live Catch, Taj Mahal Trio, 2005
no info Lift a Leg, Dog Mountain, 2005
no info Breakfast with Enzo, Enzo Garcia, 2005
no info Wild Roses, The Granary Girls, 2005
no info Master Class, Lenny Breau, 2006
info Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Mark Dvorak), 2006
no info Those Plucking Strings, Charles Blackwell Orchestra, 2006
info Date Street Sessions, Rachel Sedacca, 2006
info Beware Young Ladies!, Tom Paley, 2007
no info The Essential Chet Atkins, Chet Atkins, 2007
no info To Kill a Mockingbird, The Malchicks, 2007
no info Bermuda Triangle Exit, Stefan Grossman/Tokio Uchida, 2007
no info Simply the Best of the 50's, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt), 2007
no info Ill Disposition, Davis Coen, 2007
no info Hard To Find Jukebox Classics 1957: Pop Gold, Various Artists (Rusty Draper), 2008
no info 1957 British Hit Parade, Pt. 1, Various Artists (Chas McDevitt), 2008
no info Plays the Music of Newport, Rosebud, 2009

 
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