All aboard for a nostalgia trip with Les Brown and his Band of Renown.
In the lilting fox-trot of the band’s “Sentimental Journey” — and in Arthur Green’s swinging sen-tuh-men-tul phrasing — you can almost see the locomotive wheels chugging, hear the steam spurting from the smokestack and feel the second-class coach swaying back and forth as the train makes its way down the tracks. And when it leaves at “seven,” the high note mimics the train whistle and you’re “waitin’ up for heaven.” As performed by a 20-year-old Doris Day, whose voice is honey with a dash of pepper, you want to pack your bag and join her on that journey home.
And that’s exactly what many GIs were hoping to do when “Sentimental Journey” came out in 1944. The song’s aching nostalgia struck a chord in a nation welcoming its boys back from the front lines. If any song could make your heart “yearny” for the old hometown, this little train could.
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