Get Along Little Doggies

Tiny Bradshaw was a successful big-band leader in the 30s who re-invented himself as an R&B shouter after WWII, in the hey-day of Jump-Blues.  The lyrics to ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ are based on ‘Cow-Cow Boogie’, a 1942 song about a singing cowboy written by Benny Carter, Don Raye and Gene De Paul.  Tiny Bradshaw first recorded ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ with his band in 1951, and it was written by him Myron C. Bradshaw, Lois Mann (a pseudonym of King Records’ owner Syd Nathan), and Howard Kay who did play violin in orchestras with Charlie Parker, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Harry Belafonte, and Eddy Arnold.  In 1956, Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio reworked Bradshaw’s song using a rockabilly/early rock and roll arrangement.

In 1965, the Yardbirds recorded their version of this song on their album Having a Rave Up With the Yardbirds.  This song is about a guy who is blown away by a woman, but he has to act cool to make sure he doesn’t scare her away.  The train rolling is in reference to sex.  After guitarist Jimmy Page joined the group, the Yardbirds recorded an updated version with new lyrics as ‘Stroll On’ for the film Blowup directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1966.  Antonioni envisioned a scene similar to that of Pete Townshend’s famous live ritual of smashing his guitar on stage and he even asked the Who to appear in the film.  When they refused, the Yardbirds stepped in during that brief period when both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were in the band.  John Paul Jones said that this was the first song he ever played with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham after joining Led Zeppelin.

I caught the train, I met a dame,
She was a hipster, well and a real cool dame,
(She was handsome,)
She was pretty, from New York City,
Well and we trucked on down in that old Fairlane,
(Goin’ on,)
With a heave, and a ho,

Well, I just couldn’t let her go.
(Yes I did,)
Get along, sweet little woman, get along,
Be on your way,
Get along, sweet little woman, get along,
Be on your way,
With a heave, and a ho,
(Love the way you walk,)
I just couldn’t let her go.
(Yes I do now.)

Well, the train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
(Sweet little woman, get along,)
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
([You’re my queen?])
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
(Sweet little woman, get along,)
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
(You’re my queen?)
With a heave, and a ho,
(Love the way you walk,)
Well I just couldn’t let her go,
(Yes I do.)

We made a stop at Albuquerque,
She must have thought I was a real gone jerk,
We got out the train in El Paso,
Lookin’ so good, Jack, I couldn’t let her go.
Get along, sweet little woman, get along,
(Oh, right,)

Well, the train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
The train kept a-rollin’, all night long,
With a heave, and a ho,
Well I just couldn’t let her go.

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 29 where this week’s theme is train.

10 thoughts on “Get Along Little Doggies

    1. From its beginning rock and roll has always been connected to sex. In the 1950s, the dance floor fast became ground zero for the breakdown of sexual barriers. A colder front is moving in today, but most of the weather has been above normal. The average high in Clermont FL for November is 78 degrees F, but we have been above that lately.

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