William Rossiter

Magic Carpet Made of Steel: Railroad Songs and Lies

In our cynical age, the romance of the railroad may have faded like the railroads themselves, but those steel rails tied the West to “civilization” and formed a collection of territories into a nation. Songs about railroads display attitudes about the “iron horse,” from the young girl, anticipating the arrival of marriageable railroad workers to the grumpy wagoner, afraid railroads will kill his business and bring in crews of Irishmen! (Oh no! There goes the neighborhood!) Railroad songs and stories help us recapture the wonder the rails once inspired. Using these tunes and yarns, we’ll explore what the railroad meant to the West and its pioneers.

Songs accompanied by guitar, banjo, harmonica and autoharp.