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Hurricane Dave: Music

Riding The Rails (Homage To Tigra)

July 1, 2010
Words & Music By Hurricane Dave
In the summer of 2008 I worked as a host guide on the Alaska Railroad for Royal Celebrity Tours, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. I got to educate tourists about Alaska, tell lots of bad jokes, and say things like, "Hey look, there's a beaver dam!" But mostly I got to ride the train all summer and get paid for it. This song is about my railroad buddies and the quest for Denali (known to Outsiders as Mount McKinley), which hides behind the clouds most of the time. Tony, Bob, Traci and Karissa are real people, though Traci and Karissa weren't really servers. They were the managers who made sure everything ran properly on RCT's rail cars. It was too difficult to work that into the song, but I had to pay tribute to them somehow -- I hope they're not offended. Everything else is pretty accurate, including the unfortunate incident with the moose, which comes around after the instrumental break. Oh, I almost forgot: "Tigra" is the young woman who hired me in the first place and to whom I am forever indebted for giving me the best job I've ever had in my life, even though it only lasted four months. Geez, this note is almost as long as the song.
© 2010 Hurricane Dave (BMI)

I bid farewell to the cruise ship from my Inside Passage tour
Amble to the Sea Life Center where there’s animals galore
I wander around Seward and learn about the quake
I’m filled with much anticipation for the ride I soon will take
Before me stands a shiny train, mostly yellow and blue
The great Alaska Railroad beckons me to see the view
I’m heading to Talkeetna in a cruise line’s private car
Glimpsing eagles, bears and glaciers while I pick on my guitar.

Riding the rails with Tony and Bob, Traci and Karissa, too
Hearing the tales of Tony and Bob
And wishing that Denali
Hoping that Denali
Betting that Denali will come into view.

Tony is our tour guide on the first leg of the ride
As we rumble ’cross the Kenai with its verdant countryside
There’s history and anecdotes and, yes, a few bad jokes
Till Traci interrupts him with “It’s time for dinner, folks!”
She leads us to the dining car, this is some fancy place
Fresh halibut and crab meat put a big grin on my face
As way off in the distance, the Alyeska tram is
Taking tourists up the mountain for great views of The Great Land.

Riding the rails with Tony and Bob, Traci and Karissa, too
Hearing the tales of Tony and Bob
And wishing that Denali
Hoping that Denali
Betting that Denali will come into view.

After sleeping fast in Anchorage in a small one-star hotel
I’m back on the train to travel to the place homesteaders dwell
Karissa serves up breakfast with her million-dollar smile
And our guide today is Bob, who says, “Be careful in the aisle
“We’ll be rockin’ and a-rollin’ and you don’t want to get slapped
“If you should lose your balance and land in a stranger’s lap
“Hey, look, the clouds are lifting and, good gracious, what a view!
“It’s Mount Hunter and Mount Foraker and, yes, Denali too!

Riding the rails with Tony and Bob, Traci and Karissa, too
Hearing the tales of Tony and Bob
And wishing that Denali
Hoping that Denali
Betting that Denali will come into view.

There’s a moose on the track, there’s a moose on the track
We’ve got to turn back, there’s a moose on the track
There’s a moose on the track, there’s a moose on the track
But we cannot turn back…
Splat!

Riding the rails with Tony and Bob, Traci and Karissa, too
Hearing the tales of Tony and Bob
And wishing that Denali
Hoping that Denali
Betting that Denali will come into view.

Riding the rails with Tony and Bob, Traci and Karissa, too
Hearing the tales of Tony and Bob
And wishing that Denali
Hoping that Denali
Betting that Denali will come into view.