July 4: Tours – Baltics 2014, to Estonia

Jon Curtis Season of the Day, SOTD - July


This is the second day of our Tour of the Baltics miniseries. In celebration of the Fourth of July weekend we now start a three day nested miniseries on what we learned about freedom and independence while on tour in Russia and Estonia.

It might be a stretch, but today's video implies that "The Gospel Train" could be a Russian tram!  This arrangement is by Jack Halloran who was a television music writer and conductor who worked for such greats as Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, and scored countless films.

We begin with what has become an Allan Petker Chorale tradition, the boarding call by Dean Smith of Santa Clarita.  The video then adds a sign from the Vasa Museum in Stockholm inviting all children to come onboard.

As we approached the border of Russia and Estonia we passed many rundown farms and homes, though they still looked rather beautiful in the late spring.  This is juxtaposed with the vast wheat fields of Estonia after crossing the border.  A long line of trucks, some waiting for up to two days, were parked along the roadway waiting to cross.  

A contrast from the stern Russian guards was a friendly blond Estonian border guard greeting us on the bridge.  We then celebrated our return to the West with some vodka and a swing at a rest stop.

We cannot let this day go by without a little bit of patriotism!  Some have called this our "Casablanca Moment."  While on tour in Argentina, we stood up at a Buenos Aires restaurant and sang, "America the Beautiful" on July 4, 2017.

All aboard!
Gospel train’s a-comin’.
The gospel train’s a-comin’, I hear it just at hand.
I hear the wheels a-rumblin’ and rollin’ through the land.
Git on board little children, there’s room for many-a more.
I hear the bell and whistle, they’re comin’ ‘round the curve.
She’s loosened all her steam and brakes and strainin’ ev’ry nerve.
Git on board little children, there’s room for many-a more.
The fare is cheap and all can go, the rich and poor are there.
No second class aboard this train, no diff’rence in the fare.
Git on board little children, there’s room for many-a more.