January 31, 2009 04:17PM avatar
The following lyrics are based on an event which reportedly* took place during the last week or two of the nationwide tour of the American Freedom Train in 1975-76.   Ex-S.P. Daylight locomotive #4449 pulled this train for most of its eighteen month journey; like most of her sisters and many of S.P.'s 4-8-8-2 Cab Forwards - but unlike the steam locomotives of nearly all other railroads - #4449 was equipped with an air horn in addition to her steam whistle, as horns were thought to better penetrate the heavy fog prevalent along the California coast and in the Central Valley during the winter.

Al Phillips, a steamship engineer by profession** who absolutely HATES all diseasel locomotives and ANYTHING that reminds him of them, was one of the three fireman-mechanics on the engine crew; Doyle McCormack was chief mechanical officer and also the locomotive's engineer.  Brad Miller, whose locomotive recordings were marketed under the Mobile Fidelity label, was often lineside to preserve the sounds of #4449's travels.  During most of the trip Doyle had respected Al's request that the air horn not be used, but there was very heavy fog when the train arrived in Florida toward the end of its trip, and Brad prevailed upon Doyle to give him a last chance to record the air horn . . .

Feudin' Foghorns
(to the tune of 'They Call The Wind Maria')
Copyright 1992, 2009 by Russell B. Sperry, all rights reserved.
McCormack knew - and Miller, too - how Phillips HATED Air Horns
He'd sworn an oath, unto them both: "Lay OFF that Gawd Damn Air Horn!!"

As they round a curve, Doyle has the nerve ... to press the Air Horn's lever
Phillips swears, as he tears his hair ... to si - lence it forever

Chorus (gently, harmoniously):
The Air Horn, the Aaaaa-iiii-rrrr Horn ... Al HATES that Gawd Damn Air Horn.

Through the Florida Fog, like a dyin' dog ... Al hears the Air Horn brayin'
But he has thought ... of a dreadful plot ... Tonight he is not playin'

Behind two locks ... in a cardboard box ... this weapon has been waitin'
With his eyes on fire ... Al strings the wire ... his heart is pal-pi-tatin'

Chorus (ominously, in minor key):
The Air Horn, the Aaaaa-iiii-rrrr Horn ... Al HATES that Gawd Damn Air Horn.

On the baggage car ... With the door ajar ... Phillips stands there grinnin'
When he throws the switch ... on this Son-of-a-Bitch ... It'll end McCormack's sinnin'

Miller waits ... by the crossing gates ... to tape - record the Air Horn
But Al has found ... the perfect sound ... to leave Brad feelin' for-lorn

Chorus (brashly, triumphantly):
Drowns OUT that Gawd Damn Air Horn!
... AIR HORN!!!

 * According to an eyewitness account, Brad Miller had leapfrogged the train, and was not present at the crossings where Al's Ah-Ooo-Gah horn was actually employed.  At the next servicing stop, Doyle apparently informed Al - in no uncertain terms - that his vergeltungswaffen was NOT to be used again.

** Al is now retired from the sea and working at the Tennessee Valley Railway Museum - see [ngdiscussion.net] et seq,
[ngdiscussion.net] et seq ... and [ngdiscussion.net] (that's Al on the right).

Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2017 06:15PM by Russo Loco.
Subject Author Posted

Whistles and Horns NNG

Dale January 19, 2009 05:09PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

gbrewer January 19, 2009 06:04PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Tyler January 19, 2009 06:10PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

WilliamDiehl January 19, 2009 08:07PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

GLRR12 January 19, 2009 10:34PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

Bill Dennehy January 20, 2009 07:00AM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

David Eads January 20, 2009 01:57PM

Re: Whistles and Horns NNG

Jim Spicer January 20, 2009 10:16PM

Re: NNG - Whistle vs Horn, 1976 - (Ein DampfLoko Vergeltungswaffen) ... Music

Russo Loco January 31, 2009 04:17PM

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