Clear the Track (I)

DESCRIPTION: "Ho, the car Emancipation Rides majestic through the nation, Bearing on its train the story, Liberty! a nation's glory." Those who oppose freedom for the slaves are warned that the train is coming and will accomplish its end
AUTHOR: Words: Jesse Hutchinson / Music: Dan Emmett
EARLIEST DATE: 1844 (sheet music)
KEYWORDS: freedom political slavery train
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 283-284, "Clear the Track" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-CivWarAbbr, pp. 48-49, "Clear the Track" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, p. 87, "Get Off the Track" (1 text)
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 46, 48, "(Get Off the Track)" (1 excerpt plus a photo of part of the sheet music)
Lawrence, p. 305, "Get Off the Track" (1 text plus a copy of the sheet music cover)
Emerson, pp. 88-90, "Get Off the Track" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, _Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889_, R. R. Bowker, 1941, p. 67, gives a description of the sheet music

Pete Seeger, "Clear the Track" (on PeteSeeger28)
cf. "Old Dan Tucker" (tune)
The Workingman's Train (Greenway-AFP, pp. 87-88)
Harry Clay and Frelinghuysen (Lawrence, pp. 308-309)
NOTES [128 words]: The sheet music dedicates this to Nathaniel P. Rogers "as a mark of esteem for his intrepidity in the cause of Human Rights." Intrepid he may have been; famous he was not.
According to Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 122, this song was so controversial that it sometimes resulted in riots at Hutchinson Family concerts. Finson also notes (p. 123) that "The most remarkable feature of 'Get Off the Track,' though, was incidental to the abolitionist message intended by its author, and that was Jesse [Huthinson]'s representation of social progress through a metaphor of technological progress." A hint of this also shows up in another Hutchinson song, "Uncle Sam's Farm." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: SCW48

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