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Song Parodies -> "Those Were Our Trains"

Original Song Title:

"#1 Those Were The Days;#2 City of New Orleans"

Original Performer:

#1 Mary Hopkin;#2 Steve Goodman

Parody Song Title:

"Those Were Our Trains"

Parody Written by:

Giorgio Coniglio's Grandson

The Lyrics

To the tune of an older Russian song adapted by Gene Raskin in 1962, and performed by Mary Hopkin; lyrics derived from Steve Goodman's 1970 railway song.
Fifty years ago a lonely whistle –
Goodman’s ode to disappearing trains.
Arlo Guthrie covered his epistle
While passengers took off for cars and planes.

Those were our trains my friend, their existence threatened -
System derailed while Willie topped the charts,
A spate of bankruptcies – Pullman and then Pennsy
And Congress salvaged the remaining parts.
La la la la la la La la la la la la
Amtrak has salvaged the remaining parts.

Riding on the City of New Orleans.
Mississippi Central morning rail (1)
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors, twenty sacks of mail.

Along the odyssey, pull out at Kankakee
And roll along past houses, farms and fields
Past towns that have no names, freight yards full of old men
And graveyards of the rusted automobiles.
La la la la la la La la la la la la
The graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
The train they call The City of New Orleans -
I'll go five hundred miles ere day is done.

The towns and people seem part of a troubling dream
But the steel rails no longer have the blues
Conductors sing again, passengers please refrain -
This line makes profit hauling coal and crude.
La la la la la la La la la la la la
This line makes profit hauling coal and crude.

Twenty years ago, Illinois Central
Was bought out by our neighbor’s CNR (2)
Amtrak runs the intercity service
Ridership keeps creeping up so far.

Stations and riders seem like a non-profit scheme
Yet subsidies have solved Steve Goodman’s blues -
Rail’s bottom-line’s now great, its locomotive’s freight
Passenger service serves as the caboose.
La la la la la la La la la la la la
Passenger service serves as the caboose.

(1) The Mississippi Central, operating from Mississippi to Tennessee was absorbed into the Illinois Central system in 1878.
(2) Canadian National Railways

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 3.1
How Funny: 3.2
Overall Rating: 3.2

Total Votes: 8

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   2
 2   1
 3   1
 4   2
 5   2

User Comments

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tooty - April 06, 2015 - Report this comment
Compiled train wreck, 2s
Patrick - April 06, 2015 - Report this comment
At a couple points it wasn't quite clear which melody to use. I guess your point was, in part, that "City of New Orleans" could be sung to the tune of "Those Were The Days". I remember John Denver's version of "City of New Orleans". I've always liked trains, and got to ride the Amtrak from Kansas City to Jefferson City, Missouri last year. I think the State of Missouri subsidizes the route. The train has to stop several times on route to allow higher priority freight to pass.
John Lomain - April 08, 2015 - Report this comment
Also didn't know what tune to use sometimes, but interesting parody.
Giorgio Coniglio's Grandson - April 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Thanks Patrick and JL; In fact, this parody is sung entirely to the tune of "Those Were The Days", (with balalaikas strumming in the background). I also found it hard to keep the two tunes straight after awhile. To make things more confusing, I just posted the converse contrafactum here and on my website, i.e. the lyrics of "Those Were The Days" subbed into the "New Orleans" melody. Enjoy that!
Callmelennie - April 10, 2015 - Report this comment
Converse contrafactum -- Wha' dat mean? How I do one?

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