Sticking with the camp fire, Jon says, “Another FSC song., from Peter, Paul and Mary originally I think. The final verse (about Tiananmen Sqaure) was written by a band whose name I forget and given to me by Chris T-T and I think we used to play it in the band we had at school. I introduced the verse to FSC and I think it is still sung.”
Peter, Paul & Mary and the Kingston Trio are amongst those that have recorded this as this Wiki link shows. It also credits Hedy West as the songs composer and she could count Bert Lloyd as a fan, in fact he called her “Far and away the best of American girl singers in the revival.” Her cotemporaries Baez and Collins are, however, infinitely better known. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that she moved to England and recorded for Topic Records, always the hand-to-mouth poor relation of respectively Vanguard and Elektra for Joan and Judy. The song drew on 900 Miles, which in turn probably followed Reuben’s Train (Mudcat here.) All share the sense of poverty and an epic journey by train, either homeward or leaving through misfortune and shame. The Tiananmen verse works in the sense of the isolation and that there is a long way to go, giving a slightly heroic twist to the everyman struggle.
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