“The Harvard Student (The Pullman Train)”


As the train pulls into a village, a girl gets on and openly sits next to the "tall and stout and swell" (Harvard student). He gets "soot" in his eye; she offers to remove it. They enter a tunnel, and after kissing sounds her earring is found in his beard


According to Cohen, the 1871 printing in the _Harvard Advocate_ is credited to "S. O. L." It was printed under the title "In the Tunnel." He speculates that "S. O. L." might be a distortion of the initials of poet Louis S. Osborne, who attended Harvard at the time.

His speculation has external support. Having read Cohen's comments, I went looking for works of Louis Shreve Osborne's. I found exactly one in _Granger's Index to Poetry_, that being "Riding Down from Bangor," in Hazel Felleman's _The Best Loved Poems of the American People_, p. 515. Which proves to be this very poem. But it may be that Felleman followed the same line of logic; her attributions are not very reliable. I think, on the whole, we have to list this as a "probable" case of authorship. - RBW


  1. Randolph 391, "The Harvard Student" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 218-320, "The Harvard Student" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 391)
  3. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 109-110, "The Eastern Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 50-52, "In the Tunnel" (1 text)
  5. Roud #7617
  6. BI, R391


Alternate titles: “The Pullman Train”; “Riding Down from Bangor”
Author: Louis Shreve Osborne?
Earliest date: 1871 (Harvard Advocate)
Keywords: courting train humorous
Found in: US(So)