Daddy, what's a train? Is it something I can ride?
Does it carry lots of grown-up folks and little kids inside?
Is it bigger than our house? Well how can I explain
When my little boy and girl ask me "Daddy what's a train?"
When I was just a boy and living by the track,
Us kids would gather up the coal in big 'ole gunnysacks,
Then we heard the warning sound as the train pulled into view,
The engineer would smile and wave as she went rolling through.
She blew so loud and clear, we had to cover up our ears,
And we counted cars just as high as we could go.
I can almost hear the steam those big old drivers scream,
A sound my little kids will never know.
("Daddy What's a Train" by Utah Phillips)
The Golden Spike Ceremony, a photo by Edna Barney on Flickr.