Here’s another stab at Leadbelly’s Rock Island Line

Pictured to the left is the NYC Transit Authority Lexington Avenue #2 train which, unlike the Rock Island Line, does not carry any pigs, cows or livestock. The #2 train just carries tired working people from the Bronx to Manhattan, and then back home again. And thousands of them! Packed in like the proverbial sardines. Through grimy subway tunnels and up onto elevated train trestles. Tired commuters. Now, just how and why a Jewish kid from the Bronx becomes enamored of the Rock Island Line and becomes invested in the mythology of the American railroad is a good question. Perhaps it has something to do with the clickity-clack of the #2 Lexington Avenue line. On a visceral level I miss riding the trains. Certainly these old folksongs still hold a sway on my imagination. And perhaps yours as well.

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