Hell-Bound Train, The

DESCRIPTION: The drunk passes out and dreams of the hell-bound train. The Devil is the engineer. When he announces that Hell is the next stop, the riders beg for mercy; the Devil replies with a list of tortures they face. The drunkard awakens and reforms
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Railroad Men's Magazine, according to Cohen)
KEYWORDS: train Devil Hell drink
FOUND IN: US(So) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 638-644, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text plus extensive excerpts and aportion of "Ride on the Black Valley Railroad" and a broadside print of "Railroad to Hell"; 1 tune)
Randolph 599, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 210, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune, the latter allegedly by Lomax himself)
Fife-Cowboy/West 125, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ohrlin-HBT 15, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck 94, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 163-164,246, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Finger, pp. 110-113, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, p. 263, "The Hell Bound Train" (1 text)
DT, HELLBOND* HELLBND2*
ADDITIONAL: Martin Gardner, editor, _Famous Poems from Bygone Days_, Dover, 1995, pp. 7-8, "The Hell-Bound Train" (1 text)

Roud #5103
RECORDINGS:
Frank Hutchison, "Hell Bound Train" (OKeh 45452, 1930) (Velvet Tone 2366-V, 1931)
Sunset Jubilee Singers, "The Hellbound Train" (Hub 3004, n.d.) [Note: I'm not certain this is the same song, but I'm playing the odds]
Joseph Walsh, "The Hell-Bound Train" (on MREIves01)

NOTES: Lomax editions suggest "J. W. Pruitt(e)" as the author of this piece. One of Randolph's sources mentions a "Tom Gray." I wouldn't bet much on either attribution. - RBW
In the Beck version, Tom Gray is the protagonist, rather than the author (the song is in third person). - PJS
Cohen notes a strong similarity in concept to"Ride on the Black Valley Railroad," credited to I. N. Tarbox and printed in 1876. For more on this, one should see Cohen. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: R599

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