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Songs: Travelling By Train

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In the '90's I thought that the way that we live now
Would be changed by the internet so that we'd never leave the house
But instead we spent half our time on planes and bikes and cars
So I would like to recommend a better way by far:
Travelling by train
Let's take them in the order that I said...

I am amazed when I hear people claim
Major cities look the same, whether you're in Europe or in the UK
Maybe it looks like that from the inside of a plane
Or driving down that dreary stretch of airport motorway
But try travelling by train
And from the window watch the landscape change

We will not need to rub in some of your Swiss Army grease
And we will not chafe or get caught on any loose or broken chain
Bikes and tandems like abandoned like morose moraine
We're not getting hot and sweaty or bothered if it rains
We're travelling by train
Relaxing with no need to concentrate

In the car your mind's required to find somewhere to park
And not to go too fast for fear of a fatal camera flash
Stuck in jams in a tin can your mind might start to think
Of service station Cornish Pasties or how you'd like a drink
Try travelling by train
There's beer and crisps and wine and sandwiches in the buffet

Take a train to London and then tube to Waterloo
Eurostar to Paris then the rest is up to you
We could see the South of France or round the coast to Spain
Athens, Venice, through the alps, Berlin and home again
Travelling by train
When we're on the same reservation I don't mind what's the destination
Travelling by train


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This was written over the weekend of October 8th/9th 2005 in a FLURRY of excitement after having played with Boo Hewerdine the night before. I already had three songs to finish off, but after thinking "I wonder what OTHER sorts of tunes and chords i could play?", INSPIRED by hearing him, this began to EMERGE. I actually woke up with the first line of the second verse, about BIKES and army GREASE going round my head. The Swiss Army Grease THING was told to me by Mr Whitaker in conversation at the Sorted Extravaganza, as he'd recently been on a Biking Holiday from Vienna to Prague, and had had to Rub Some In, whilst using some form of GLACIAL MORAINE in a song has been a long held ambition of mine.

The whole song gradually eased itself out over the course of the weekend and combines some THORTS i've had just lately on my travels (e.g. going out to Heathrow on the train and going into Palma airport on the BUS both provided similar VISTAS of dreariness and collapsing industrial parks). my regular in-pub MONOLOGUE about WHY it is a so much better to travel by TRANE (and also cos I've said ENOUGH in song for the moment about the TRIALS of rail travel), and my own Precious Memories of going inter-railing 3,000 years ago, when i DID go to Athens and Venice on the train. It took a very long time.

My favourite thing about the song is the TUNE for the "Travelling by Train" bit, as I've found it EXTREMELY catchy, and i can hear how LOVELY it would sound with The Validators CHUGGING away behind it...


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