Appalachia Music

Steel Rails

Song steel rails

Steel Rails written by Louisa Branscomb

Steel rails chase the sunshine round the bend Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind I don’t mind not knowing what lies down the track Cause I’m looking out ahead to keep my mind from turning back

Steel Rails

It’s not the first time I’ve found myself alone at dawn If I really had you once then I’d have you when I’m gone Whistle blowing blowing lonesome in my mind Calling me along that never ending metal line

Steel rails chase the sunshine round the bend Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind I don’t mind not knowing what lies down the track Cause I’m looking out ahead to keep my mind from turning back

Steel rails in appalachia

The sun is shining through the open box car door Lying in my mind with the things I’ve done before I’ve lost count of the hours, days, and nights The rhythm of the rails keep the motion in my mind

Steel rails chase the sunshine round the bend Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind I don’t mind not knowing what lies down the track Cause I’m looking out ahead to keep my mind from turning back Cause I’m looking out ahead to keep my mind from turning back

written by Louisa Branscomb


The words above are the lyrics of a song written by Louisa Branscomb in the early 70s.

The song Steel Rails is most often associated with Alison Krauss, who had a hit with it on her album I’ve Got That Old Feeling.

I think Chatter does a pretty good job on the song too-hope you do too!



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  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    She did a great job! And the music was pretty good, too!!!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Great! No matter what she sings I get tears in my eyes!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

    What talent. Enjoyed every note. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    July 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Fantastic, really good job on the music, love the fiddle opening, coarse I’m partial to the fiddle. Keep up the nice music…

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    July 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Oh, wow-one of my all time favorites & so very nicely done!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I really enjoyed both the lyrics to the song and the lovely presentation done by your family!!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    brenda s 'okie in colorado'
    July 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    WOW! Chitter and Chatter are so incredibly talented. It’s been so great watching them grow up here, but to see how smart, talented, and beautiful they have also become is just amazing. Do they plan to go into the music industry? I don’t think I have ever heard you say what careers they are looking at. Or are they still unsure. I know what ever they do, it will be 200%.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    July 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    What talent, I love it..She sings so beautiful, just like an angel..I love that song so much..Thanks for sharing..

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    July 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    When I see “steel rails” mentioned in a Southern context, my first thought is Sherman’s March to the Sea. Having taken and burned Atlanta on 1 Sept. 1864, “War is Hell” Sherman set off across Georgia to Savannah with his 100,000-man Yankee Army, destroying everything within 60-miles on either side of his line of march. Blue-coated troopers tore up railroad tracks, heated the rails over bonfires of burning cross-ties, and wrapped them around trees. “Sherman neckties” were a fixture of the Peachtree State for 30-years.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I so enjoyed the music today…All did a great job on Steel Rails….Like some of the other comments, I could not hear the voice as well as I would have liked to…still I enjoyed it very much…I too love the lyrics to the song…it fits so many life experiences..
    Have a great music Sunday,
    and Thanks Tipper for a great post…PS…Who’s, Whose, Who, put the penny on the rail?..LOL
    Don’t forget to go back and get it…we forgot ours, so some “hobo” probably has my squashed penny!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Ed-glad you liked the song! That is Chitter headed down the steel rail : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I’m sure I speak for all the readers out there of The Blind Pig when I say how much we get from the blog. There is always a gift for all in this blog each day. Whether it is a superb high country receipe, a photo of a place we would love to go but never could otherwise see, wisdom gleaned from mountain gardening tips, old folklore, natural medicines found in nature, music from the hills, unique language and vocabulary of long ago days that has been sustained by so many people of Appalachaia.
    When I think of the author of this blog and what she does for everyone, it really gives a good feeling. If one is familiar with Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird” and how Boo Radley (almost had same name!) would leave trinkets in that knot hole of that old tree in his front yard just for Scout and Jem because he wanted to give them something (to me) brings to mind this blog in that just about everyday a present of sorts is here for us! We never know what is going to be but, we know it is always from the heart just like Boo’s was from the heart. Thanks again Tipper!
    Oh yeah, fore I fergittit, does that girl in the video have a voice like an angel? Y shore I reckin’ youins’ knowed who her Momma is!!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Those pretty girls are so talented
    and the guy with the mandolin did
    great too. Chatter has already
    developed the sound, and I love the harmony when they’re together.
    Your whole family has richly blessed us with music…Ken

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    July 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I really enjoyed listening to Chitter singing. Your family is very lucky with all the talent they seem to possess. As a child I didn’t have those talents nor the opporturnities some of the children have today. You and your family are truly blessed. Keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Nice rendition Chatter and I like Louisa Branscombs lyrics. I like songs about trains like these. Thank you for todays post Tipper, keep them coming.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Good job of singing, only the mic needs to be closer to her. Ya’ll are so talented. Always enjot the singing videos.

  • Reply
    Charles Ron Perry, Sr.
    July 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    This is one of my favorite songs by Alison Krauss. I have every album that she has made and the one with this song is best of all. It seems that when a singer starts out keeping it simple that they are at their very best. Great song gang. I think that you guys are headed for fame.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Enjoyed the song and Chatter did a good job with it. :-)I always love a fiddle too!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    The voice of an angel!! There is nothing else to say.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I reckon that’s just about the best I’ve ever heard that song sung. And the fiddlin’ opening is just about as better. Just one bit of amateur advice for Chatter, sing to the camera. She is singing “I’m looking out ahead” but she’s looking everywhere else.
    Who’s caboose is that going down the track?

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    July 15, 2012 at 6:23 am

    It seems to me that your family is blessed with alot of talent. Well done Chatter. Looking forward to hearing more.

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