Dana Abbott: Life’s Railway to Heaven

Instrumentation: SATB chorus, piano
Playing time: 2' 30"
Life’s Railway to Heaven is an 1890’s gospel song often encountered in country music settings.  This version explores some of the harmonic possibilities of the song and fashions a contrasting ending that fades away.
                         Life’s Railway to Heaven

       Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;                                                               We must make the run successful from the cradle to the grave.                                                                   Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels; never falter, never quail.                                                                 Keep your hand upon the throttle and your eye upon the rail.

       You will roll up grades of trial; you will cross the bridge of strife.                                                                 See that Christ is your conductor on this lightning trip of life.                                                                       Always mindful of obstruction, do your duty; never fail.                                                                               Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Refrain:    blessed Savior, please guide us, till we reach that blissful shore;                                                                 Where the angels wait to join us, in Your praise forever more.

Elisa Snow & M.E. Abbey, late 1800’s alt.   Charles D. Tillman, same period, alt

The recording was made with a Zoom portable digital device.  Video from a digital camera was synced with the audio by Brian Carter, my son -in-law.

Camerata Singers, conducted by John Koza, and Pauline Troia, piano

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