“Freight Train” is a piece of popular folk music written and performed by the great Elizabeth Cotten. Check out this wonderful performance by her in her later years.
A Little Background on Elizabeth Cotten and “Freight Train”
She taught herself to play the guitar and is known for developing her own style of playing music. Because she was left-handed, she played the right-handed guitar upside down meaning she played the baseline using her fingers and played the melody with her thumb.
This alternating bass style of playing eventually became known as “Cotten picking” and became her signature style. Many musicians both before and today have been influenced by her bass style.
Her folksong “Freight Train” was composed when she was only a teenager. In an interview with BBC, Cotten explains that the inspiration for the song came from the sounds that the trains made on the tracks as they passed by her home in North Carolina.
In music “age doesn’t matter” and it really doesn’t, and Elizabeth Cotton is here to prove it to us. In the video, we see her performing one of her famous folk songs titled “Freight Train” and she delivers us one of the sweetest performances ever.
Though her voice has clearly been worn out due to her aging, the magic and wonder of her performance remain the same as when she first gave us the folk song.
Listening to the performance will definitely bring listeners to tears and will have them smiling all throughout. Along with that, a surge of nostalgia would come over listeners regardless of their age.
The song just brings us this wonderful feeling of nostalgia that helps bring us to a place of relaxation.
Another wonderful thing about the video is the fact that though her voice sounds different from when she was younger, her guitar playing skills have clearly not faded one bit. Despite the years, she still plays the instrument beautifully and really well.