Life is Like a Mountain Railroad banjo tabs & chords

  • Scruggs Style


    Life is Like a Mountain Railroad is a classic gospel number you are likely to hear at any jam. Normally the breaks are split between players. The switch usually happens the measure after the A chord. Here we've got the whole break. This way you'll be ready if you take the first part, second part, or all parts! Don't be scared of those triplets. It's just a variation on timing with standard Scruggs licks. It's something Earl did often. Since you are using a combination of picking and left hand slur, it shouldn't be too tough. Isolate the licks and work on them slowly, or one measure at a time. It'll become second nature before you know it.

    • Key G
    • 105 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Scruggs Style
  • Melodic Style


    This is a fun arrangement of Life is Like a Mountain Railroad that blends Melodic and Scruggs styles. Melodic is used for most of the phrases that have melodic movement, while Scruggs style is used when there is a sustained melody note. This provides a very nice contrast through the melody and chord changes.

    • Key G
    • 110 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Melodic Style
  • Single String Style


    This is another hybrid arrangement of Life is Like a Mountain Railroad, and a good bridge to single string playing if you are used to Scruggs Style. Single String phrases cover the dominant melodic statements, while Scruggs phrases fill the spaces. Use the lick switcher to turn this arrangement on it's head and create some truly unique passages for your next jam!

    • Key G
    • 110 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Single String Style

Life is Like a Mountain Railroad lyrics

Life is like a mountain railroad
With an engineer so brave
We must make this run successful
From the cradle to the grave
Watch the curves, the fills the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hand upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail

Oh, blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us
Til we reach that blissful shore
Where the angels wait to join us
In God's grace forever more

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 superintendent
God the Father, God the Son
With a hearty, joyous greeting
Weary pilgrim, welcome home

* Refrain