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Migration, technology, and the folk musical

by Kate Fortmueller

Thematically speaking, the folk musical typically emphasizes family, home and stasis rather than migration. Characters in the film are often confronted with questions of whether or not to move and are faced with exploring new technologies. Many of these films also feature musical numbers about technology. This Academy Award winning song, "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe" is one such song. The sounds of the train are incorporated into this musical number which tells a number of stories about the women who recently arrived in this fictional Arizona town.

The Harvey Girls (1946) - "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe"

In this number women sing about their hometowns and how they arrived to the fictional town of Sandrock.

from The Harvey Girls (1946)
Creator: George Sidney
Posted by Kate Fortmueller