3 responses to “Midweek Music Break: Trainsong (A Playlist)”

  1. Tom Waits has a song called Train Song – which, you know, is for me an ultimate accolade for any cultural meme. And I bet he now wishes he’d called it Trainsong. (Although that does start to sound a bit like a Thai name….) “It must’ve been a train that took me away from here, but a train can’t bring me home.”

    Trains are indeed a uniquely potent image/metaphor. Even before they go into tunnels. (The first time I saw North By North-West on TV, not yet into my teens, I remember [quite possibly a subsequently manufactured memory, I know] thinking, “Hmm, that seems a bit naughty, but I don’t get why.”)

    Thank you. This is a great selection – and just what I needed on a drab midweek evening. A lot of this was new to me; but all good.

  2. Continuing my Waits idolatry for a moment (forgive me), I have to mention Downtown Train, which – apart from being a great, great not-really-a-love-song song – has the most fabulous guitar tone I’ve ever heard (Marc Ribot playing that, I believe).

    And then that’s line from Tom’s Long Way Home (better known through Norah Jones’s cover, I expect), Money’s just something you throw from the back of a train…”. That’s such a Buddhist sentiment, I’m surprised our man over at whiskey river hasn’t picked up on it yet.

    I also somehow suddenly found myself recalling a (shortly post-MacGowan breakup) Pogues song called Once Upon A Time, a hauntingly pretty being-stood-up song – actually set in a bus station rather than a train station, but it’s that same ambience: “I waited at the depot. You never showed. You missed the last bus hours ago.” (Your music nerd tendencies might be intrigued by the continuous, almost unwavering note running through this song. The album has a credit – I forget to whom – for ‘infinite guitar’ [which is a great phrase in itself].)

  3. And, oh my god, John Sayles – the ‘lifetime achievement award’ that the Academy is probably never going to give, because of his politics, but one of the greatest writer/directors of our times.

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