Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Number 35: Casey Jones
I can’t remember anything about this show except that I used to love it as a child and would sing its theme song endlessly. Still do in idle, unguarded moments. Word perfect still, fifty years later! So, as theme tunes go, it was a good one. Even more memorable than the show that featured it.
Other little boys played with toy soldiers and cars. I played with dolls and trains. I used to dream of having a tiny train track that would run all round the walls of the house, carrying messages and food and whatever from room to room.
My granny took me to the picture house for the first time when I was five and I saw a film that I think must have been “Santa Fe” starring Randolph Scott and I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. Thereafter, I was hooked on the cinema and also on trains. Still love traveling on trains. Only form of transport I feel any fondness for.
There was a real train driver called Casey Jones who became a hero in 1900 when he sacrificed himself to save the lives of his passengers in a famous train crash. ‘The Ballad of Casey Jones’ was written about him and survives in countless versions, including this one.

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