On Track to Xmas: All Aboard!

Themes for this year are about Winter/Christmas people moving. Less seasonal would be the locomotive train. Horse drawn since 2000 BCE, steam driven since 1809, connecting all continental interiors since 1890… but then surpassed by automobiles and airplanes soon after that (and we’ve already covered those concepts/machines in this music blog). (Okay super speed trains revived us in the 1960s and their environmental edge becomes apparent by 2000). But here in the USA (esp. West), most people just don’t. Heard of ’em. Seen ’em in the motion pictures. But not all aboard.

Yet, Christmas and trains DO go together in so many ways: traveling home, choo choo toys, Santa’s magical ride, hey–even that little electric thing around the tree for decoration! Trains can even be a great metaphor for the holiday troubadour.

Merle Haggard tells of the family that wants Grandpa to visit. They won’t go see him, and he won’t get on a plane (what in the name of Hallmark is the story here?)–so it’s time for “Goin’ Home for Christmas” on a train. Maybe he useta be a hobo. It is country music, see?

Chet Nichols overlays the country with New Age in his “Christmas Train.” Another homeward run for one and all. Nice scenery!

Whispery country from Elle Carpenter whitewashes a “Colorado Christmas” in Norman Rockwell tones (kids in pajamas on the train drinking hot chocolate for cryin’ out loud). It’s a ride.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra growls out prog rock (knock me over with a shovelful of coal!) about a lonely man taking a railway trip. Something about no one meeting him at the station, and a single set of footprints… i’m not sure about the story here either. But “The Snow Came Down.” That’s for sure.