What the Engine Done (1911)
Last updated: 28.01.22
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Composer: L.C. Copeland Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Quintet A/T/B/B/GB(B)/V(OT)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 719
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Length: approx. 3¾ mins.
A plodder, What The Engine Done, although written in 1911 eventually became a "sensational" radio hit when sung by Al Bernard in the late 1920's. The song itself gives a fascinating and humorous insight into the extent of that vast American continental railway system with its plethora of private railway companies. In six verses we are given a sterling account of the heroic efforts by the various engineers trying to make their connections on an involved journey from the Dixie Land to Yankee Land. A song for railway buffs, it would make an intriguing project to identify all the stations and companies on the given itinerary. This piece is primarily a song and the accompanying recorder ensemble should surrender the limelight to the singer. Musicianship is demanded in making each of the six verses sound a little different and perhaps a little experimenting in bringing out railway effects.
What The Engine Done was published by Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York & Detroit, USA.
A tempo of 120 crotchets/min. is suggested.
  Instruments Performer
  DBE MP3 Sample 
audiodbemp315.gif A/T/B/B/GB(B)/V(OT) Midi Ragtime Recorder Ens.