For as long as they've been on railroad tracks, trains have been a frequent theme in popular music, symbolizing everything from  escape to a way home. In Beth Welton's new song, the train represents the passage of time, and she pleads with it to slow down. "This past winter, one of our dear friends, Sandy Morse, passed away,” said Welton. “I wanted to honor Sandy somehow and I started working on this song.” Beth Welton is half of the folk duo Tin Penny, along with her husband Larry Welton. The two live in Barre, but met in Rutland at the Wild Woods Music Co-op. They have remained close to their friends in Rutland and were struck by Morse's passing. “I was having a hard time with the song for various reasons. I was kinda stuck,” said Beth Welton. “And then, we got the sad news that another friend of ours from Wild Woods, Burnie Martin, had also passed away." Martin's passing gave her a push to finish the song. "I really felt that the song was going to be about very much the passage and nature of time,” said Beth Welton. “And that's when I pulled it all together, honoring both of them and anyone else who has come and gone." The Wild Woods Music Co-op is an acoustic music gathering that has been ongoing for 25 years. It was started by Doug Norford at the Harlequin Movie House on Center Street in Rutland. The name comes from one of its other previous homes, the Church of the Wildwood in Chittenden. The group now meets at the Godnick Center in Rutland. Beth and Larry Welton visited the Rutland Herald in late July to record the song and do an interview. With them were co-op members Jack Crowther and Gus Bloch. After recording the song, the group discussed Wild Woods, the song's meaning and how it came about. Crowther has been a member of the co-op for roughly 20 years. "People bring instruments, or if you're just a singer, that's fine too," said Crowther. He explained that the room is set up as a circle and members take turns choosing a song. People either play along or just listen. "Everyone's welcome, no matter what ability, and people are always welcome to come and just listen," he said. On the recording, Larry Welton plays acoustic guitar, Gus Bloch plays banjo and Beth Welton plays an instrument called a QChord. The QChord is essentially an electric auto-harp on steroids. The player strums the instrument like a guitar (on a pad), plays melody like a keyboard and even play chords like a piano. Despite how complex it sounds, Beth Welton claims it's a very easy instrument to pick up and learn to play, and  it teaches people a lot about music by the way it is set up. Beth Welton normally plays guitar but started using the QChord when she injured her hand. She started writing the song on guitar but finished it on the QChord. The song and video, which can be viewed and listened to on both the Herald and Times-Argus websites and Facebook pages, is simply titled, “Wild Woods.” Beth and Larry Welton hope to include the song on their next Tin Penny album. Wild Woods Music Co-op meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Godnick Adult Center on Deer Street off Woodstock Avenue in Rutland from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. ** "The Wild Woods Song" Written by Beth Welton Performed by Beth & Larry Welton of Tin Penny of Barre with Gus Bloch from Rutland Song only: What is she playing? Audio interview at the Rutland Herald:

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