Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, January 14, 2024


         Back in 1950, as a teenager, I was part of the formation of a new church plant.  We were joined by numerous families who had moved to our area from other parts of the region, seeking employment.  They brought various traditions with them.
           Several families came from the coal regions of Pennsylvania and they became wonderful friends and active members. But they did have a different style of music.  We soon learned to expect that at every fellowship and hymn sing somebody would request "Life Is Like a Mountain Railroad".
is a gospel song written by Charlie D. Tillman, M.E. Abbey, and J.R. Baxter. M.E. Abbey added the chorus while Tillman published its lyrics and composed the music. Sources state that Eliza R. Snow originally wrote the classic hymn in poem form in the 1890s. However, the copyright document did not credit Eliza Snow's contribution.
The gospel song describes the Christian life using railroad jargon. Its lyrics depict how life may be full of challenges and exhausting, just like a trip on a mountain railroad. It may operate through the mountains by following mountain valleys and tunneling beneath mountain passes, or it may climb a mountain to provide transport to and from the summit. However, the imagery also shows how a journey on the railroad requires courage and watchfulness to possible danger and not giving up, much like how we should approach life.
Members of Western Writers of America have chosen this song as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
          The song reminds us that our lives will face curves and tunnels along the way. There will be many obstructions.  We need to keep our eye upon the rail and our hand upon the throttle and let Christ be our conductor. Eventually we will roll into the Union Depot and meet our 
Superintendent, God the Father, God the Son, and hear the hearty, joyous plaudit,"Weary pilgrim, welcome home."
          The song concludes with a prayer. "Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us, till we reach the blissful shore, where the angels wait to join us, in Thy praise forevermore." This would be an excellent prayer to share each day.

1    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.
Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach the blissful shore,
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

2    You will roll up grades of trial,
You will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your conductor
On this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction,
Do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle,
And your eye upon the rail. [Refrain]

3    You will often find obstructions,
Look for storms and wind and rain;
On a fill or curve or trestle,
They will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus;
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle,
And your eye upon the rail. [Refrain]

4    As you roll across the trestle,
Spanning Jordan's swelling tide;
You behold the Union Depot
Into which your train will glide;
There you'll meet the Sup'rintendent,
God the Father, God the Son,
With the hearty, joyous plaudit,
"Weary pilgrim, welcome home." [Refrain]

Listen to it here.  RAILWAY

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