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January 11, 2012

A Visit From Rhythm & Rails (or Twas Music on The Holiday Magic Train)

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Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through the tracks
Many riders were waiting, red cheeks and backpacks
For garland was hung from the overheads with care,
The Holiday Magic Train soon would be there!

Then, out on the platform there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the bench to see what was the matter.
Toward the open doors we flew like young deer,
Stepped onto the train and rubbed our cold ears.

The twinkling white lights, holiday paper ceiling to floor
Gave the spirit of the holidays to riders on board
And, what did we find, just past the train door,
But a six-piece brass band, snare drum and more.

With a driver whose warm voice did explain
I knew in a moment this must be our train!
Jollier than jelly, his announcements they came,
Introduced the band and called them by name!

“Now Tuba! Now Drum! Now, Trumpet! Now Saxophone!
On, Trombone! On Guitar! On Cymbals! On Sousaphone!
To the end of the alignment! To the end of Red Line!
Now play away! Sing away! And have a good time!”

As warning whistles before the rushing train fly
Sounds of FB Brass Band, did mount to the sky
So all through Red Line the music did play
For happy children and families traveling their way.

And then, on Sunday came more tidings of yule
The strums and the twangs of St. Louis Folk School.
Great musicians of traditional Americans sounds
Played on the Blue Line, Shrewsbury bound.

They strummed on the guitar, they picked the banjo,
They plucked on the fiddle, they played the dobro.
A gaggle of close friends, cheered from the seats,
With the riders aboard, tapping their feet.

The lovers how they drew close! The children how they smiled!
The older riders how they sang along, wide-eyed like a child
All enjoying songs of the St. Louis music scene,
With the snowflakes made up of white fleur-de-lis.

Thank you to KDHX, for all their hard work,
And Sleepy Kitty Arts for their festive artwork,
And FB Brass Band, and their funky good times,
And the Folk School of St. Louis and their folkly twang and rhymes!

Thank you to the operators, mechanics and staff
And most of all the riders who rode, giggled and laughed.
The Holiday Train is over, but not its good cheer,
Rhythm and Rails to St. Louis, and we’ll see you next year.


Metro Lifestyle

6 thoughts on “A Visit From Rhythm & Rails (or Twas Music on The Holiday Magic Train)”

  1. Den says:

    Will any video be posted at all?

    1. Courtney says:

      KDHX filmed both concerts, and when we receive video from them, I will post it!

  2. Anjana says:

    Wonderful pictures and what a lovely rhyme to go with it. I rode on a holiday train one morning to work, and I love it. I tried to take phone pictures and send it to friends and family, but they didn’t really capture the essense. I’m excited to send this blog post along to people everywhere now, thank you!

  3. Anjana says:

    Seriously, I’m reading this over and over and enjoying the song in the verse. Amazing.

  4. Deepa Mohan says:

    Hi Courtney, my daughter Anjana Mohan, who works for the St.Louis Metro, sent me this link, which I enjoyed it very much indeed. We are struggling, in my city (Bangalore, India) with the beginning of our Metro, with all the attendant difficulties and overrun in costs and time. I hope that one day our Metro, too, will have imaginative initiatives like this. Wish you the best in 2012, Courtney and Co.! :))

    Cheers, Deepa Mohan

  5. Patrick D. Richmond says:

    KDHX is a good station. They will even play many international songs and you could even hear bagpipes once in a while. I know on some jobs, seats have to be removed in order to make room for things like this. When you hear the jazz band play, it’s like a trip back in time to when the Brill streetcar ran down Grand Avenue. Now CMT has full episode videos on the show, “Trick my Truck” and it’s a way to learn how taking vehicles and tricking them out like this is done. Speaking of streetcars, when my mother was in her teens, she and her mother would go downtown on the streetcar to do Christmas shopping. Back then, a round trip fare from home to your destination and back was only 10 cents.

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