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Twisted Rails



 Genre: Folk-Rock

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Casey Jones died April 30, 1900, when the south-bound train on which he was the engineer collided with the last few cars of another train which was stopped on the tracks just in front of him. Jones was not killed instantly, but lived a few hours before he died.

The story of Casey Jones is one I've heard all my life. My father wrote a book about him, there's a museum here in my home town dedicated to him (he lived here at one point) and I've always been fascinated by not only Casey, but life on the railroad. My father, grandfather, great uncles and so many members of my family worked on the railroad for so much of their lives. They gave so much, as did everyone who made their living on the rails back so many years ago. Many men gave their lives for their job. And it was a dangerous job. They knew the risks, but they took them.

I've always wondered what went through Casey's mind in those last, aganozing hours before he died. What he was thinking as he knew his engine was about to hit the cars in front of him and he chose to stay at the throttle rather than jump to safety.

I've always wanted to write a song about Casey and those last moments and, finally, I have one I'm happy with. And, this song will be performed live in front of a home town crowd in August. I'm very much looking forward to that.

I hope you enjoy the tune, and if you want to learn more about the real Casey Jones, the following is a link to some of the information written by my father.

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Twisted Rails, lead me home
Now my days have come and gone
Tell my wife I love her so
Twisted Rails lead me home

Twisted rails, call my name
Take away this endless pain
Is this heaven or is the hell
Twisted rails, call my name

I give my life for steel and steam
As I move on down this line
I know that I will meet my end
On these twisted rails

Twisted rails bring me peace
Take me to the great beyond
Throttle open, full head of steam
Twisted rails bring me peace

I give my life for steel and steam
As I move on down this line
I know that I will meet my end
On these twisted rails

Twisted Rails, lead me home
Now my days have come and gone
Tell my wife I love her so
Twisted Rails lead me home

Twisted Rails, lead me home
Now my days have come and gone
Tell my wife I love her so
Twisted Rails lead me home
Song Stats
Hits: 4223
Comments: 13
Fans: 13
Plays: 147
Downloads: 149
Votes: 12
Uploaded: Jun 05, 2007 - 01:32:31 PM
Last Updated: Jan 30, 2012 - 08:34:30 PM Last Played: Feb 10, 2019 - 09:32:23 PM
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Macbook, Les Paul, Yamaha 5-string bass, M-Audio Mobile Pre, MXL 990 mic
Logic for the mix
bronco said 4402 days ago (June 5th, 2007)
Fascinating History
This is such a great song on so many levels. I have sung about Casey Jones my whole life(Greatful Dead, Doc Watson, Fred Neil) and never knew who he was. For someone on Macjams to be so close to the story is amazing! Your obvious love and respect for the railroads and the men who made them roll is inspiring.
As to the music itself, I have never heard your voice sound better! Really wonderful singing! The guitar intro was very well done and nice to listen too. That Les Paul sustain is really going strong for you here. Nice drum loop and outstanding bass work. Just great work here, thanks!
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paddler said 4402 days ago (June 5th, 2007)
- I first got carried away by the tune as I like to listen in the dark with my eyes closed.Anything to do with the railway takes me back to a time when we were 'scruffy rockers' and used to walk home along live tracks witch is the stupidest thing anyone could do.But on older lines I used to look at the old ramshackle cabins dotted along the side for miles and wonder what was in them but wonder how I'd get to sleep if I tried to live in one,and what would be in there - porn? an ancient campstove or a newspaper or nothing.Theres an old film called Emperor of the North Pole with Lee Marvin involving hobos hopping trains that grabbed my imagination as a kid.Its on imdb if your'e interested.

This is superb - the song by itself carried me away and to read the story of Casey J afterwards added to its authenticity.I might go off on that link you mentioned your father sounds like an interesting man.Really intense backing vocals/guitar lead by the way - much like the doplar effect of a passing train blowing the horn.Thank you
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mikkinylund said 4402 days ago (June 5th, 2007)
I love history, and music. This combines the best of both. It is a fascinated story, one which I haven't heard of before. I was a little but surprised of the choice of music composition, that in a positive way. The dark, almost eightees melodramatic vibes, together with the instruments of the time, is a well balanced act. I need to listen to it some more, but this is very, very good. I know your home town crowd will feel proud of you. Peace/M
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dajama said 4401 days ago (June 5th, 2007)
Great song
Absolutely evocative of the time and the strength and dedication of those men. The guitar is spot on, and the bass is - as ever - excellent. Nice vocal and nice sentiment in the lyrics. I love the image of the twisted rails. Very cool. The hometown crowd is going to love this! Nice work. Peace.
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Vic Holman said 4401 days ago (June 5th, 2007)
I wa probably the first one listening
this morning but the speakers at work are crappy. So i waited to hear it better this eve,

Like this thick background sound you got going. the voice cuts right through.

Somehow this gives me sense of a Neil Young influence.

When you're playing this, this summer are you playing with a band?
This should really go over big.
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lavalamp said 4401 days ago (June 6th, 2007)
good stuff
Checking out some of your stuff and I have to say I like this one. Good lyrics, story telling. I also enjoy the guitar solo part. "Twisted Rails" is a very good title. enjoy it a lot. Thanks for checking me out, too.
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Feter said 4401 days ago (June 6th, 2007)
Twisted Rails
I think I m growin to be a big fan
of your grogious singing ... hmmmmmm
you are usin les pauls ...have you ever think
of Gretsch ? ... !

a great song and story ..thank you for this gem !!

peace !!
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thetiler said 4401 days ago (June 6th, 2007)
What a wonderful
explanation of the tune.

Thanks for sharing the tune and giving us more of the story of Casey Jones!
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Godchaser said 4400 days ago (June 7th, 2007)
Good groovin'.......
tune & told so well both lyrically as well as the short history lesson you share - nice production and choice of sounds and tones to express the overall mood of the song - I live in a small town that has a hugh switching station w/ lots of local rail workers and lots of trains running 24/7 - again good tune and wishing you a great response w/ the home town crowd this august!

- Godchaser
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said 4400 days ago (June 7th, 2007)
Haunting and Powerful
It's funny how some things can be brought back home with a song like this. 'Casey Jones' has become an icon, a caricature of a 'locomotive engineer' that has been Disnyfied to little more than a cartoon.

But he was a real guy, doing a real job that most people know little about. I wrote a novel, Dragon's Keeper, that incorporates much of the 'railroader culture' into the story. Railroading is dangerous work, and while it's less so today, it only makes me more impressed at the men who worked the rails in Jone's day. Few know that in the days of steam engines, in order to stop a train, a guy had to run along the roofs of boxcars, turning the brakewheels by hand... one by one. Imagine doing that in Wyoming in February at 2:am. But they did. It was their job.

This songs pays a huge debt of respect to Jones and his brethren. Excellent song. Good luck with the performance in August - this tune is a showstopper.
said 4400 days ago (June 7th, 2007)
Singing, playing and especially the song-writing, Joseph.
I also appreciate your description.
jgurner said 4395 days ago (June 12th, 2007)
Thanks everyone!!!!!
I usually try and respond to everyone individually, and to return the favor of a listen and a comment with the same, but I've been busy the last week or so and haven't really had the time. But I really wanted to let everyone know just how much I appreciated all the feedback and support you've given me on this tune. I've wanted to do a song like this for a while, but I've never been really happy with what I've come up with before. This tune actually got kicked off when I was talking about wanting to write a song about Casey Jones and he said "Be sure you but a D minor chord in it. It's the sadest chord there is." So I started with that chord and the title "Twisted Rails" and the rest just kind of wrote itself.

This will be played live the first Saturday in August at our local summer festival. I'll be playing with my friend I mentioned above, who I played with in high school and college in a number of different bands, and a couple of other local folks. We'll be doing all original stuff, making our selections from tunes Ive posted here. I'm really looking foward to it. Hopefully, I'll have some live recordings that I'll be able to post after the event.

Thanks again to everyone who has listened, commented, voted or just dropped by.
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bud said 4387 days ago (June 19th, 2007)
Being Kevin Jones (aka Bud) and
having a grandfather who worked on the railroad I always felt an affinity for Casey. The Grateful Dead didn't hurt either I suppose.
What a great song you've put together here - I rea;lly like the winding guitar line flowing throught the whole song like a twisted rail. Well done! It's great you get to perform this for a live audience. Let us all know hoe it goes.

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Name: Joseph Gurner
Location: The Valley Mississippi USofA
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Genre Info
Folk-rock is a musical genre, combining elements of folk music and rock music. In the original and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and Canada around the mid-1960s. The sound was epitomized by tight vocal

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