Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee: Rock Island Line

Here's another Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee video clip from Pete Seeger's 1966 "Rainbow Quest" TV series. This clip includes Rock Island Line, which is a great traditional song that was first recorded in 1937 by blues legend Ledbelly. I love watching this energetic live version.

Some say that the Rock Island Line refers to the Underground Railroad. Which certainly resonates with some of the verse lyrics ("I may be right and I may be wrong/But sure you're gonna miss me when I'm gone.") Others say it refers to the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific railroad (CRI&P).

Either way, I've been teaching this song in my Songwriting for Kids class and the kids love singing it!

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