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"The Ballad of Big Thunder Mountain" is the theme song of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Not heard on the ride itself, it was composed for the attraction's opening press event and tells the story of how the mountain got its curse.

It was written by Stan Freese in 1979 with the intention of being performed by John Denver in a television special meant to promote the attraction's opening that was cancelled when the attraction's opening was delayed.[1]

A recording of the song appeared as a track for the discontinued Disneyland Forever CDs that were available at that park during the late 1990s. Additionally, a heavily extended version was performed at the opening ceremonies for the Magic Kingdom version of the attraction, though this version appears to have only been preserved by fan-circulated bootlegs.

Lyrics[]

At Big Thunder Mountain station there’s a frightened trembling man,
His body’s weak and feeble and his skin has lost its tan,
When I asked him for a ticket, he turned and shook his head,
He grabbed me by the shoulder and this is what he said:

"Before you get on board this train there’s something you should know,
When I finish with this tale you might not want to go."
I listened with amazement as what he said was true,
And now my friend the time has come to tell this tale to you.

Hear the legend, of Thunder Mountain,
If you're weak of heart, then stay away!
From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
Thunder Mountain Railroad, run away!

He said the legend has it on one foggy night in June,
The train and crew pulled out as well beneath the darkened moon,
With a boiler full of water and a tender full of coal,
The whistle screamed a warning as the wheels began to roll.

Then like a bucking bronco with a cougar on its back,
The train began to run away down miles and miles of track,
What happened to the crew that night, no one has ever learned,
The train pulled in all by itself, the men did not return.

Hear the legend of Thunder Mountain,
If you're weak of heart, then stay away!
From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
Thunder Mountain Railroad, run away!

The history of Big Thunder continues to unfold,
The stories of its danger continue to be told,
Of avalanches, rattlesnakes, and earthquakes in the night,
And voices of that phantom crew that chill your blood with fright.

So please forgive me, mister, if I’m standing in your way,
But before you buy your ticket, there’s one thing I have to say:

Hear the legend, of Thunder Mountain,
If you're weak of heart, then stay away!
From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
Thunder Mountain Railroad, run away!

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Btm m logo
Disney Parks
Big Thunder Mountain RailroadPhantom ManorMine Train Through Nature's WonderlandBig Thunder RanchLegends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine CarsPecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & CafeThe Western River ExpeditionGolden Horseshoe Saloon
Locations
Big Thunder Mountain • Ravenswood Manor • Rainbow RidgeTumbleweedThunder MesaGrizzly Gulch • Big Grizzly Mountain • Stillwater Junction • ArizonaCalifornia
Characters
Barnabas T. BullionJason ChandlerHenry RavenswoodSpirit of Big ThunderBilly the Disney GoatGeorge WillikersCumulus IsobarTyrannosaurus rexMadame Zarkov • T.W. Bullion • The Halve Knives GangPecos BillBeacon Joe • Cousin Elrond • Rosita • Old Prospector • Liddy Stockley • Colonel T.R. ClydesdaleSlue-Foot SueVultures

Characters from Spinoffs: Abigail Bullion • Onawa • Dolfo • Marybeth Bullion

Miscellaneous
Big Thunder Mining CompanyThe Ballad of Big Thunder MountainSociety of Explorers and Adventurers • Shoshone Tribe • Bandito Gang
  1. A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of the Most Magical Place on Earth, by Kevin M. Kern, Tim O'Day, and Steven Vagnini. p.112
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