Roger Miller’s “Old Toy Trains” Is An Underrated Country Christmas Gem

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Man, I’m not afraid to admit it, I love a good Christmas song.

Sure, some of them are just ridiculous like “Hippopotamus For Christmas” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” but so many have that little spark you need to bring back some Christmas spirit and memories from when you were a kid.

I’d label myself as more of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas songs and prefer the classics like “O Holy Night” and “Joy To The World,” but there’s always been one song that I believed never got the recognition it deserves.

Back in 1967, Roger Miller released a Christmas song he wrote for his son Dean titled “Old Toy Trains” and it is absolutely one of the most underrated ones out there.

The songs speaks of children’s enthrallment with the Christmas season and the awesome traditions that make it just that much more special, most notably a train around the tree.

My grandpa was a Lionel train enthusiast until the day he died, even going so far as to turn a room in his house into a huge village display with mountains, model cars, ceramic houses, and of course, tons of old Lionel trains, some dating back to the 1940’s. There’s just something so special about the memories of him bringing me and my brother into the room and firing them up, us watching with raw joy as they puffed smoke and whistled for hours, each lap bringing as much excitement as the first.

That’s a tradition that so many families have, which makes this song just that much more special for those who grew up with them.

The song has been covered by many country singers over the years, from Randy Travis to Glenn Campbell to Toby Keith, whose version is no longer on streaming services for some unknown reason, but was always my favorite.

So if you’ve got a train around your tree, grab some cookies, throw this song on and get down there and let it run.

If even for just a brief moment, you’ll find that Christmas spark when the engine rounds the corner.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock