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  3. Life is Like a Mountain Railroad

Life is Like a Mountain Railroad banjo tabs

  • Tablatures

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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!


More about Life is Like a Mountain Railroad

"Life's Railway to Heaven." "Life's Railway to Heaven" In 1890, Tillman put Baptist preacher M.E's hymn to music. Maybe M. E. Abbey wrote the railway song's entire text. Snow frequently set her hymn lyrics to popular music, like Tillman. Bell on YouTube, Oak Ridge Boys, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley, Russ Taff, and many more. On January 14, 2012, on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Brad Paisley performed a 4/4 rendition. One of the poems of Eliza Young (Truth Reflects on Our Senses) was set by Charles Tillman to the tune used later for the present hymn. Eliza R. Snow used the same tune with her lyrics for "Truth Reflects upon Our Senses" released some twenty years before Tillman was born by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some claim that some of the text may have been written by Eliza Roxcy Snow Young (1804-1887), the polygamous wife of Mormon founder Brigham Young, but I have not seen any conclusive evidence of it. And the song was written by evangelist artist and record publisher Charles Davis Tillman. Young's lyrics vary entirely from the Railway Song's phrases, except that Abbey's theme is used in it.

Learn 3 different versions of Life is Like a Mountain Railroad, which are all shown on this page. We recommend that you get started with the Scruggs style version, where you’ll learn basic roll pattern and left-hand articulations like slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Next, move on to the Melodic arrangement to learn how to play the melody for Life is Like a Mountain Railroad using scales and up the next positions. Lastly, you can check out the Single-string There are many Scruggs, melodic and bluesy... licks in these three banjo Life is Like a Mountain Railroad tablatures, which can be used to personalize each arrangement into your liking. To change measure into a different arrangement, just click on the "Original Measure" text above the measure and select a different lick. You can also click the "Shuffle licks" button at the bottom of the page to randomly change all of the licks in the tablature and create a wholly unique arrangement of this song. Be sure to check out all of the great learning tools that Tunefox has to offer such as "Hide Notes", "Memory Train", and "Speed Up". These tools can be found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. Want to learn some of Life is Like a Mountain Railroad by ear? Use "Hide Notes" to hide some or all of the notes in the tablature. Once you’re finished learning with the tab use the "Memory Train" tool to commit the song to memory. Then practice with "Speed Up" to improve your technique and speed in no time. Use the Tunefox backing tracks to practice the solo you’re working on or improvising over the chord changes for Life is Like a Mountain Railroad. The backing tracks are recorded samples of real instruments to help simulate practicing with an actual band. You can adjust the volume of the instrument, band, and metronome to your liking. Once you’ve settled on an arrangement of Life is Like a Mountain Railroad using the Lick Switcher, export your arrangement to a PDF file so you can print it out and take it with you. This is a member-only feature.

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, blesse...t 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