Friday, July 5, 2013

The Clash - "Train in Vain" (1979)

I wrote all of the lyrics to this down just so I could compare the verses. I honestly didn't know if they were all the same, but they are - twelve bars with the same chord progression each time.

There are a lot of words! Forty-four in the first verse, forty-four in the second, and a whopping forty-nine in the third and last. It's the contrasts in melodic contour with different syllable counts in particular spots of the verse that are so effective in this song. How many of them are real bigtime hooks?

"You say you stand/By your man."
"You said you loved me/That's a fact/Then you left me/Said you felt trapped."
"The heartaches hurt me 'til this da-a-ay."
"I've seen all my dreams come tumbling down."
"So, alone I keep the wo-olves at bay."
"Now I got a job/But it don't pay."

And the last couple of lines might be the sweetest, this time rhyming where they didn't rhyme before (with the two lines that precede them, making four rhyming lines in a row):

"But you don't understand my point of view/I suppose there's nothing I can do."

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