The Rail Song – Song and Lyrics by Adrian Belew


Discover the poetic beauty in ‘The Rail Song’ by Adrian Belew. This lyric breakdown takes you on a journey through the artist’s thoughts, emotions, and the story they aim to tell. From clever metaphors to evocative imagery, we delve into the nuances that make this song a lyrical masterpiece. Whether you’re a fan of Adrian Belew or a lover of well-crafted words, our detailed analysis will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of this song.

I recall as a boy we would hop the freights
Wasn’t nothin’ but a kick back then
There was no better thrill for my anxious heart
Than a long flatcar

Headin’ out of the yard
And I knew even then she was in my blood
Like the time when I first hired on
And the fireman laughed at my bony nose

But he tossed me a cap
Said GM&O
And I was a man…

I gave her my best years
Well, what can you do but laugh
I don’t expect she’ll ever be coming back

When we climbed up the great Appalachians
Her engines would be raging like hell
Then we’d come back down to the rising towns
Where the cattle stare

In the frozen air
For me there nothing more sacred
Than the beautiful sound she’d make
Her long blue signal blowin’ deep in the night,

It would get to me there,
It would get to me there
Now I’m afraid…

Afraid of these silent hours
Awake underneath my old cap
I don’t expect she’ll ever be coming back

Well, I watched the beginning of the end for her
When I saw my first jet airplane
Flying high overhead like a bird of prey
While the mighty fell

In the land of the brave
Now I’m alone.