Toy Train – John Edmond
Between 1970 and 1975 John Edmond had 7 Springbok Top 20 hits. The 6th of these was ‘Toy Train’ which made it to number 10 and spent 7 weeks in the charts. It also made it to 14 in the charts in what was then Rhodesia. The song was written by a guy called Dewayne Blackwell and, from what I can tell, was originally recorded by a band called The Dove (despite the Wikipedia entry for the song saying Edmond was the first to record it).
The track is a country pop one which, like many songs of the era, talk about a couple separating and is told from the point of the kid who it told by his father that he (the father) is going off on a big toy train, promising his son he will return, but eventually the boy grows up and realises that his dad ain’t returning. It’s a sad song, but then that was what country music was all about back then.
The version by The Dove is pleasant enough (you can find it on Youtube), but I think John Edmond’s version is better. It’s rockier and Edmond’s vocal is stronger and sounds more mature. This works well with the end of the song when the singer truly realises that ‘daddy wasn’t coming back’. The Dove version vocal is a bit too blue-eyed to convince one that the boy (now a man) really accepted the truth of the matter. So, maybe you prefer to live in vain hope, in which case listen to The Dove version, or you can accept reality and listen to Edmond’s one.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 1 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40485 (CD)