DOWNBOUND TRAIN

The Smithereens' version

I had a job, I had a girl
I had something going mister in this world
I got laid off down at the lumber yard
Our love went bad, times got hard
Now I work down at the carwash
Where all it ever does is rain
Don't you feel like you're a rider on a downbound train

She just said "Joe I gotta go
We had it once we ain't got it any more"
She packed her bags left me behind
She bought a ticket on the Central Line
Nights as I sleep, I hear that whistle whining
I feel her kiss in the misty rain
And I feel like I'm a rider on a downbound train

Last night I heard your voice
You were crying, crying, you were so alone
You said your love had never died
You were waiting for me at home
Put on my jacket, I ran through the woods
I ran till I thought my chest would explode
There in the clearing, beyond the highway
In the moonlight, our wedding house shone
I rushed through the yard, I burst through the front door
My head pounding hard, up the stairs I climbed
The room was dark, our bed was empty
Then I heard that long whistle whine
And I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried

Now I swing a sledge hammer on a railroad gang
Knocking down them cross ties, working in the rain
Now don't it feel like you're a rider on a downbound train


The above lyrics refer to The Smithereens' cover that was included on the tribute albums One Step Up / Two Steps Back: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen, Downbound Train, and The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen. Read liner notes below.

Check out the album's version for more details about the song. Check also early demo #1, early demo #2, Nebraska demo version, live 21 Jun 1985 version, live 11 Aug 1999 version, live 25 Jun 2005 version, Raul Malo's version, and Kirk Kelly's version.


Liner notes from the One Step Up / Two Steps Back: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen tribute booklet:

We chose "Downbound Train" because nothing else really felt like the right fit. It had nice dark mood, a cinematic quality. It's a story and it had the mood that fit with something like The Smithereens would do. Springsteen nurtured and developed his gift, didn't get lazy and turn into a parody of himself. He's continued to evolve with each record and he's still evolving today, but is always artistically pure. He didn't fall victim to his own press clippings and never got that "rock star" attitude.

-Mike Mesaros, The Smithereens