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Don’t sleep in the Subway

There are just three tunes to go on the 27th Street train song list and I’m going to clean up that list right here and now. When I started down this road, I had no idea just how many train songs I’d find. If any of you have been following the list, you’ll know that I started the countdown from 50 late in the game. I’ve posted a heaping helping of train songs here from quite a number of musical genres. Later on, when we explore car songs, I think the complexion of that list will be quite a bit different than this one, but I guess that remains to be seen.

I should point out that these are not in any particular order, and so when I get to number one, it doesn’t mean I think it’s the greatest ever train song, although I confess to saving a pretty good one to go out with. With that in mind, lets go back to 1967 and give a listen to Petulia Clark singing Don’t Sleep in the Subway. The strings are a bit out of control on this one but it’s got a nice little hook and the curious title draws you right in.

Ms. Clark was born in 1932. She had a number of chart hits during the 60s, but I think the one most of us remember her for is Downtown, a fabulous pop song which was released in 4 different languages in 1964.

Here’s a Petula Clark trivia morsel. She was Fred Astaire’s final on-screen dance partner for her role in Finian’s Rainbow in 1968.




Now for a change of pace, here’s the Ozark Mountain Daredevils performing Chicken Train. The Daredevils are a band from the early 70s. They had a hit with Jackie Blue that you might remember. Chicken Train is a fun tune.

OK folks, I was ridin’ #9 headin’ south from Caroline, I heard that lo-wa-won-some whistle blow. Here’s the very last train song I’m going to post for a little while at least. Yes, all I do is set and cry when I hear the evening train go by friends.

Here’s Hank:

What can I say about Hank Williams. Dead by 29 of sustained self-abuse, he left behind the most incredible musical legacy. He had 11 #1 hits between 1948 and 1953 and I bet you know most of the words to all of them. His tunes, including Lonesome Whistle have been covered by many of the greats of American music.

Here’s Johnny Cash’s cover on Sun from 1957

I like this next version by Gene “Be Bop alula” Vincent, another singer who lived a relatively short life..

So, that’s it for the train song list. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for the next music list here at 27th Street, Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin, music to drink by. There’s going to be some heartbreak and tears, friends.



  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    To say that Petula Clark had a number of chart hits I think very seriously understates her career. I never much cared for her music but she sold (are you sitting down?) a staggering 68,000,000 records between North America and Europe. I think she was more popular in Europe than she was in North America, she was after all a Brit and her career spanned 7 decades. She was well known for releasing records in France sung in French, in Germany sung in German etc. She was even made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire which I believe is the same title as that other fellow Bond, James Bond. Here is an interesting wiki about her career..

    • Well, I figured she didn’t need that extra bit of publicity 27th Street could offer her. I included Don’t Sleep in the Subway in the set because I thought there should be a bit of fluffy pop music tossed in to round it out.

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