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Suicide Train

from Hologramatron by Barry Cleveland

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The train is a staple of American folk, blues, and gospel songs, typically employed as a metaphor for liberation, often in answer to the prayers of the faithful. Here the metaphor is inverted: The train is speeding toward personal and planetary oblivion and the passengers are called upon to intervene before it crosses the point of no return. The 13/8 riffs and looped solo section are partially in homage to 1973-74 King Crimson.


There’s something ahead on the horizon
Belching fire into the sky
Whistle blowing, calling out my name
Says, “Climb aboard for the final ride”

Temperatures are rising
As I gasp to catch my breath
Mind is filled with madness
Body’s buckling under stress

Suicide train
Machine keeps on rolling
Faster and faster
No one knows where it’s going

Suicide train
People packed in every car
Tighter and tighter
Until no one knows who they are

Oh brothers, won’t you help us
Oh sisters, won’t you help I pray
Oh people, won’t you help us
Help us stop this runaway train

The earth is melting
Poison’s seeped into her soul
Racing by the warning signs
Keep on shoveling, shoveling coal

Suicide train
World keeps on turning
Round and round
You can smell her burning

Suicide train
Life blurs beyond my window
Faster and faster
Until there’s no one left at all

Oh brothers, won’t you help us
Oh sisters, won’t you help I pray
Oh people, won’t you help us
Help us stop this runaway train


from Hologramatron, released May 27, 2010
Michael Manring: bass
Celso Alberti: drums, percussion
Barry Cleveland: electric guitar, GuitarViol, sampled Mellotron, bass, vocals


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