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  • Canadian Railroad Trilogy

    Mark Rogers posted on May 08, 2012 20:04

    Download the Lyrics and Chords


    The "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" is a song written, composed, and performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot that describes the building of the trans-Canada Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1880s.

    This song was commissioned from Lightfoot by the CBC for a special broadcast on January 1, 1967, to start Canada's Centennial year. It took him three days to write the work. It appeared on Lightfoot's The Way I Feel album later in the same year along with the song "Crossroads," a shorter song of similar theme. The structure of the song, with a slow tempo section in the middle and faster paced sections at the beginning and end, was patterned more or less opposite to Gibson's and Camp's "Civil War Trilogy," famously recorded by The Limeliters on the 1963 live album Our Men In San Francisco. In the first section, the song picks up speed like a locomotive building up a head of steam.

    According to Lightfoot, Pierre Berton said to him, "You know, Gord, you said as much in that song as I said in my book." Berton was referring to his two bestselling books about the building of the railway across Canada, The National Dream and The Last Spike.

    In 2001, Gordon Lightfoot's "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" was honoured as one of the Canadian MasterWorks by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.

    ~~~ChordPro Version UPDATED June 17, 2017 CEL~~~


    A video for this song:

    Railroad Trilogy by StonewallStudios

    Posted in: Individual Songs, May 2012 - Train songs., June 2014 - celebrate Canada, June 2017 - Canadiana (2 Comments)


# rajiv
Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:17 PM
...hey Mark...i'm glad you put this one in...so appropriate...I was about to post it then i saw that you had done it...All that work for nothing!!!
Bytown Ukulele Group
# Bytown Ukulele Group
Friday, May 11, 2012 7:09 PM
That is an aggressive undertaking! Great song but I would need a month to learn it, I will happily do my best of course.