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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Railroad Poems

Date: 07/10/19 11:24
Railroad Poems
Author: Railrev

An odd request.
Does anyone know of any railroad poems that might be appropriate for a eulogy for a man who worked on ATSF?
Thanks for the help.

Cross posting on a couple of other forums

Date: 07/10/19 17:52
Re: Railroad Poems
Author: nickatnight

I wonder if the words to Johnny Cash ”Life’s Railway to Heaven” would work?

It does not specify Santa Fe or any other road but it is not without message. 


Date: 07/10/19 19:38
Re: Railroad Poems
Author: milepost180

I Googled it and there were a few.

Date: 07/12/19 22:50
Re: Railroad Poems
Author: robbie

Sorry for only now posting; just getting the craziness of the workweek a bit under control...

Other than the oft-mentioned "Railway to Heaven" (which I always knew as simply "Like is like a Mountain Railway"), I've always found a sweetness in the Goebel Reeves song "Hobo's Lullaby," most well known from Woody Guthrie but as I heard it by the Kingston Trio. I've sometimes considered "Railway to Heaven" and "Hobo's Lullaby" both for use in the congregation I serve if we ever wanted to venture outside the hymnal, with lyrics I've worked on adapting for theological and topical reasons. (It's likely musical heresy to change classic folk/gospel song lyrics, but I've taken away a bit of the "earning my salvation" sense that isn't in line with my denomination; changed the references to "policemen" in "Hobo" to "bad men," and added a verse to "Hobo" about the end of his ride specifically when I was considering it for a funeral...)

Being someone with strong interest in railroads, theology and literature, I'm actually rather surprised that I can't think of any railroad-related poems or even prose excerpts that really use railroading well as a symbol for life's journey, stability and change, etc. Sure, there are a few overly sentimental things online here or there that you could imagine being in a funeral home handout, but nothing that strikes me as classic or profound. I'll have to dig through the dusty cobwebs of my weird brain to see if I can remember anything! And if you've found anything else, I'd love to know!

The only other resource I'd imagine was a funeral earlier this year for a longtime railfan and model railroader in Marion, Ohio. His service, officiated by a Methodist minster, was actually held at the restored railroad station in Marion, right where three lines converge. Sadly, I couldn't make the drive down for the funeral, but I understand it was quite nice, and I'd wonder if there wre any rail-related readings shared there...

Good luck!
Perrysburg, Ohio

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