Skip to content

By Kat Dibbits on

Rocket returns: our visitor playlist revealed

To celebrate the return of Rocket to Manchester, we asked you for your favourite locomotive-inspired songs—and you didn't disappoint.

Please note: Stephenson’s Rocket is no longer on display at the Science and Industry Museum. To find out what exhibitions and activities are open today, visit our What’s On section

Here’s the full Rocket-themed playlist on Spotify—you can listen and share your new favourites with us.

We got LOTS of requests for Saxon’s Princess of the Night and so we chose it to start our playlist, with a special shoutout to Twitter follower @TheMorrioghain, who shared with us her husband’s potentially dubious claim that comparing his wife to a steam loco is a compliment.

We also loved this tweet from Mary M Cavanagh—could Mary’s daughter be our youngest visitor when Rocket arrives next week?

We were thrilled to have been introduced to Flanders and Swann’s Slow Train, and enjoyed Emma Burgham’s lovely description of the song:

There were so many great suggestions we couldn’t possibly comment on them all here, but of the more creative thinkers we enjoyed the suggestion of “anything by Liverpool Express” from Steve Robinson, aka @ManGuitarTech, for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway reference and @loobydotlu who took us into musicals territory and made us long for our rollerskates with her Starlight Express suggestion.

We also learned that songs don’t need lyrics to be inspired by locos, thanks to @Louisa_Burden who nominated Night Train by Oscar Peterson.

Where an artist wasn’t specified we generally chose the original, but we do admit to swapping Gladys Knight and the Pips out for Aretha Franklin in honour of the Queen of Soul who died earlier this summer.

Of course, not everyone took the brief quite so seriously. Alongside demands for Steam by East 17, Kylie’s The Locomotion and Elton’s Rocket Man (it’s not even about an actual loco, guys!) was our head curator George Young’s tongue-in-cheek homage to Rocket’s famous silhouette:

What songs have we missed? Tell us your favourites and why in the comments below.

15 comments on “Rocket returns: our visitor playlist revealed

  1. Try these:
    ‘Rocket’ by Mud’?
    ‘The railroad runs through the middle of the house’ by Alma Cogan (I think)
    ‘Trains’ by Reginald Gardner

  2. How about ‘ late for the train’ Buzzcocks, could make a great soundtrack for a Rocket animation, ????

  3. What about “Train,train” by BLACKFOOT,’cos in my humble opinion is one of the most infravalorated great rock bands

  4. I would like to vote for BLACKFOOT,one of the most infravalorated great rock bands,and their song “Train,train”

  5. The Ballad of John Axom – Ewan McColl
    The man who put the engine in the Chip Shop – Dave Goulder
    Footplate Song: Dave Goulder
    Green all the Way: Dave Goulder

  6. “People Get Ready (There’s a Train a-Comin’), by Curtis Mayfield. A classic civil rights song.

  7. The Last Steam Engine Train (John Fahey) – perfect example of lyrics being unnecessary, just perfect guitar playing. John Peel was a big fan.
    When The Train Comes Back (Chicken Shack)
    Train (Buddy Miles Express)
    Honky Tonk Train Blues (Spirit of John Morgan) – does what it says on the tin!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.