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This Train Don't Carry No Gamblers
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Stories and songs about the West National Road
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Written by Paul D. Race for Family Garden Trains(tm) ,
Big Indoor Trains(tm), and Creek Don't Rise(tm)

This Train Don't Carry No Gamblers, a Classic Train Song from Family Garden TrainsTM

This song isn't really about trains as much as it is about getting with the Gospel. But it's very catchy and has been sung by folk, pop, and gospel singers over the years. The first version I really fell in love with was Peter, Paul, and Mary's minor-key arrangement from their debut album. Many other great versions have been performed over the years - mostly in major keys with "blue" (flatted) notes.

Often this song is titled "This Train is Bound for Glory," so if you do a search for other versions, try that alternate title. The phrase "bound for glory" has been adopted for many uses, including a biography of songwriter Woody Guthrie (and a relatively unimpressive movie of the same name), If you search on just "Bound for Glory," though, you'll get mostly professional wrestling videos.

For several years there was an alternative rockabilly gospel band out of Nashville called "This Train." Their music is a lot of fun, but it's not folk music and it's not about trains.

Update for 2014 - After discovering that many of the links on our pages had recently been broken, I'm taking another pass through these pages, adding features and information where I can. At the moment there are a number of recordings on YouTube (below) that show how versatile this song can be. Folk, Gospel, Dixieland, Reggae, Country, and more. You may be used to hearing this song in one particular style, but to some artists, the song is a sort of blank canvas that they have adapted to their own styles and uses.

If you have a favorite version that is available on Amazon or YouTube, and I don't include it below, please contact us, and we'll try to get it in.

    This train don't carry no gamblers, this train.
    This train don't carry no gamblers, this train.
    This train don't carry no gamblers -
    No crap shooters, no midnight ramblers.
    This train don't carry no gamblers, this train.

    This train done carried my mother, this train.
    This train done carried my mother, this train.
    This train done carried my mother -
    My mother, my father, my sister, and my brother.
    This train done carried my mother, this train. Click to learn about our newsletter for Americana and related music styles

    This train is leavin' in the morning' this train.
    This train is leavin' in the morning, this train.
    This train is leavin' in the morning -
    Great God Almighty, a new day's a-dawning.
    This train is leavin'n in the morning, this train.

    This train is bound for glory, this train.
    This train is bound for glory, this train.
    This train is bound for glory -
    Don't carry nothin'; but the righteous and the holy.
    This train is bound for glory, this train.

Free Roger McGuinn MP3 Version

Roger McGuinn, formerly of the Byrds, has made many recordings of folk songs available on his site, the "Folk Den." To download Roger's version of "This Train," click on this link, and click on the words This Train next to the word MP3 in the left margin. I'm afraid that this audio file was created when audio compression technologies were still in their infancy, so it's not the highest resolution, but it's a price Roger paid in those days to get a lot of songs "out there" for free. Thanks, Roger.

MP3 clips from Amazon

    This Train - Peter, Paul and Mary
    From their debut album. Mary Travers, Noel Paul Stookey, and Peter Yarrow bring carefully-crafted harmonies to this old spiritual.
    This Train - Big Bill Broonzy
    Worth a listen. From a live folk concert, Broonzy uses a flat-picked guitar with a blues-style walking bass line.
    This Train - Bob Marley
    In this unusual medley, the master of Reggae works "This Train" into a story song of his creation.
    This Train - Bob Marley
    This is an entirely different presentation of the song, sung folk-style with a group.
    This Train is Bound for Glory - Jim Hendricks
    An influential member of the early folk-rock scene, Hendricks has been performing and recording for folk audiences for many years. This is an instrumental version you will want to audition.

You-Tube Videos of This Song

    When I first posted these, I had them set up so you could play them without leaving the page, but the links kept going down, often because some publisher decided that having the song online was a violation of copyright. (Sometimes they even were, but I don't have as much of a problem with folks posting stuff like bootleg concert videos or old TV appearances that aren't available anywhere else.)

    At any rate, when I recently refreshed these pages, I replaced the in-place links with the ordinary links because they are easier to replace, and in the meantime, my pages don't show big black rectangles with words like "This video is not available in your country." If you click on a link and there's nothing there, you can always search YouTube yourself.

    Click to see messages in the Train Song Discussion Forum.New for 2014! Train Song Discussion Forum

    There is now a Train Songs section on our Creek Don't Rise Forum Page. Here's where we post information about updates and information that doesn't really fit anywhere on the Classic Train Songs site(yet).

    When we get a question about train songs, we post it there, so other people can see it and respond if they want to. Of course, if you're signed up, you can post questions and replies yourself.

    If you want to jump to the forum to see it and read other folks' posts, click here.

    If you want to sign up to add to the discussions, click: here. It's a manual signup, because it's the only way we can block hundreds of robospam attempts a week, so it may take us a couple days to get you signed in, but once you are in, you can post in any of the forums.

    Click here to return to the Classic Train Songs page.

    Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

    And please stay in touch!

        - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's music home page

All material, illustrations, and content of this web site is copyrighted ? 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
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