Dot of America (Demo)

December 31, 2016 6:01 PM

I raced against the clock to finish this one before 2017: a song-journey on the Westbound Twin Cities Hiawatha train between Chicago and Minneapolis, operated by the Milwaukee Road from 1935-1971.


Mid-America by steam line
Union underneath the skylight
Baltic engine heaves a hot sigh
Minneapolis before night

And with the signal, our wheels they roll away
Open the throttle, the city recedes in the gray
And the conductor will cry out her name, hooray:
“O Hiawatha, the queen of Milwaukee way!”

Picking up at Caledonia
Laying back into Ixonia
Every tower, every new town
Silhouetted by the sundown

Oh in the Tip Top, they’re pouring out the laughs
I’m high enough with my face against the glass
I close my eyes when I hear the whistle blast
Woo-ooo, woo-ooo.

Okauchee, all aboard.
West Salem, all aboard.
Winona, all aboard.
Lake City, all aboard.

From the junction, it’s a short ride
City crossings in the moonlight
Hear the clacking of the coach door
Seven hours from the lake shore

Out in the station, the winds are three below
And the conductor is counting down to go
Now in my heart there’s a signal box that glows:
“O Hiawatha!”

posted by mykescipark (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This is the stuff.

Right off the bat, I like this song: the sound effects leading to the way the music explodes out of that; the way it's paced and balanced; the melody and harmonies; the off-kilter measures, yet the song feels balanced. Makes me wanna go on a train journey, too. Well fuckin' done!
posted by not_on_display at 10:14 PM on January 2, 2017

I really like this song too! Catchy, hooky, well written. Everybody loves a train song, right? Nice.
posted by acridrabbit at 4:37 PM on January 4, 2017

Hi pals: Finished version is out!
posted by mykescipark at 11:40 AM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

The whole album is out now! [Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube (playlist)]
posted by mykescipark at 11:24 AM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

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