Trains used to rumble through my small town when I was a kid. When they did, my dad would sing:
I hear the train a-coming, it’s rolling round the bend, and Iain’t seen the sunshine, since I don’t know when,
and I’m stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps dragging on. But that train keeps a rolling, on down to San Antone.
Honest to goodness, it wasn’t until I went to COLLEGE that I realized other families didn’t sing the first verse to Folsom Prison Blues every time a train passes by.
Tot Rocker: Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
Kind: Awake Baby
Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: Kids love songs about trains, it’s an easy melody to keep up with, it’s a terrific song, and everyone loves a good cautionary tale.
Some might be squeamish about the second verse, you know, that whole “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die” bit, but calm down folks, it’ll be okay. For me, Folsom Prison Blues, was and is a family standard. Thanks, Dad for making sure this song, and so many others, are a prominent part of my life. I’m doing my best to pass the tradition to the next generation.
PS. Does your kid have “I’m Taking a Trip on my Train” by Shirley Neitzel and Nancy Winslow Parker? It’s must-have reading for kids who like trains. Toot Toot!