"Trains" as written by and Steven/balch Wilson....
Train set and match spied under the blind
Shiny and contoured the railway winds
And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed
The hiss of the train at the railway head

Always the summers are slipping away

A 60 ton angel falls to the earth
A pile of old metal, a radiant blur
Scars in the country, the summer and her

Always the summers are slipping away
Find me a way for making it stay

When I hear the engine pass
I'm kissing you wide
The hissing subsides
I'm in luck

When the evening reaches here
You're tying me up
I'm dying of love
It's OK


Lyrics submitted by toadtws

"Trains" as written by Gavin Richard Harrison Colin Edwin Balch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Trains song meanings
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  • +4
    Song MeaningTrain set and match spied under the blind
    Shiny and contoured the railway winds
    And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed
    The hiss of the train at the railway head

    -- He's borrowing his cousin's bed, waiting for the arrival of a loved one by train. He can hear the train pull up from where he's sleeping.

    Always the summers are slipping away

    -- This has become a summer ritual.

    A 60 ton angel falls to the earth
    A pile of old metal, a radiant blur

    -- The train crashes? I don't know, this part is difficult to interpret. Train engines weigh far more than 60 tons usually, but I can't decide what else he could possibly be talking about.

    Scars in the country, the summer and her

    -- Train tracks cutting through the country, he spends the summers with a loved one.

    Always the summers are slipping away
    Find me a way for making it stay

    -- Pretty self-explanatory

    When I hear the engine pass
    I'm kissing you wide
    The hissing subsides
    I'm in luck

    -- He has just picked someone up at the station and is "kissing her wide" at the same time the train is taking off again. So when the hissing subsides, it's actually the noise from the train getting farther and farther away from the two of them.

    When the evening reaches here
    You're tying me up
    I'm dying of love
    It's OK

    -- So they go back to the bed he is borrowing from his cousin and when the evening reaches, they get it on. But the songwriter has since lost this particular person, and so the evening also means her death. When the evening reaches here, "you're tying me up". During the actual evenings together she would tie him to the bed, but her death has tied him to the train tracks. Either way, he's dying of/for her love. But ultimately he has accepted it and tried to move on.
    Opeth69on August 25, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song plus Blackest Eyes got me into PT. I have since discovered they have a lot of excellent material.

    What I think of when I hear this song is it is a song about a boy who goes and stays with his cousin over the summer and falls in love with a girl while he is staying with his cousin. His cousin must live a pretty good distance from him and we he leaves he knows he will not be able to see the girl he has fallen in love with for a whole year. He knows in a year a lot can happen and they may never be able to be together again.
    I remember when I was a around 12 or 13 I would go stay with and aunt and uncle of mine and there was a girl that lived next to them and one summer we really hit it off. Being the age I was and full of hormones it was a pretty intense experience. Once my 3 weeks of staying there was up, I went back home which was about 5 hours away. The intense experience I had was over instantly and I was back home and was basically love sick. To me that is what I think of when I hear this song.

    “Train set and match spied under the blind
    Shiny and contoured the railway winds
    And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed
    The hiss of the train at the railway head”

    I think his cousin lived near a RR track. He is just describing the sounds of what he heard. Probably when ever he hears a train it takes him back to the summers spent with his cousin and reminds him of the girl.

    “Always the summers are slipping away”

    I think he is lamenting the fact that the times he visits go by so fast and he will not see the girl again once the summer is over.


    “A 60 ton angel falls to the earth
    A pile of old metal, a radiant blur
    Scars in the country, the summer and her”

    Again I think he is describing the sound of the train as it comes. If you live close to train tracks the sound of the train going by is pretty intense. You can feel the earth shake.

    As far as “Scars in the country, the summer and her:”

    I think the scars in the country has two meanings. First of all the scars in the country are simply the railroad tracks winding through the countryside. Also I think the scars in the country is the pain he feels now that he is no longer at his cousin's and is back home and simply longing to be back at his cousin’s.

    “Always the summers are slipping away
    Find me a way for making it stay”

    He simply does not want the summer to end because he will no longer see the girl he has feelings for.

    "When I hear the engine pass
    I'm kissing you wide
    The hissing subsides
    I'm in luck"

    I think this is a reference to him spending time with the girl and kissing her near the train tracks.

    "When the evening reaches here
    You're tying me up
    I'm dying of love
    It's OK"

    This makes me think of the boy being back at home after having to leave the girl behind lying in bed at night thinking of the girl. "your tying me up" just refers to the pain he is feeling knowing he will not see the girl again until next summer or possibly never.

    That is what I think of when I hear this song. I just relate is to an experience I had as a kid. It is such a beautiful song I just want it to mean something that is not dark and sinister. I am not saying my interpretation is correct but it is what it means to me.
    jayjerryon January 30, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI just cant believe how the hell did he wrote this masterpiece? Sometimes the human mind can be brilliant! This song can be related to me in so many ways. That's because I've been in love with my cousin with 4 years now and i think this song is about a love for his cousin. But i think the whole thing with trains is just a metaphor. Like a train track was near his cousin's house maybe? You know sometimes a memory of some one can be attached to an object,smell,sound etc. So every time he hears a train or see's one, he's reminded of his cousin. There's so many verses that supports this idea i think.. Like when he says

    "When I hear the engine pass
    I'm kissing you wide"

    He's just imagining that he's kissing his cousin when the train passes.

    "When the evening reaches here
    You're tying me up
    I'm dying of love
    It's OK"

    This verse is basically the best verse I've seen about unrequited love. At the peak of his emotions thus "evening" she ties him up, which means she's shutting him off. Next two lines are self explanatory i guess. He's dying of keeping his love to himself.
    Anyway just my way him seeing this :) Sorry if i bore you guys to death. Love for a cousin is hard. I wish she would understand :(
    noideaon September 30, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so eerie yet incredible at the same time. The content is extremely deep. The lyrics are so odd that the song is definitely hard to interpret. This might be a big stretch but I think the train is a metaphor for a relationship in ruins. The first few verses describe the loud sound of the train and how it scars the beauty of the countryside. Keeping this in mind, the relationship dysfunction (or train) is destroying the beauty of the relationship.

    "Always the summers are slipping away
    Find me a way for making it stay"

    These lyrics make the song. Here, one of the lovers is looking for a way to save the relationship. When he or she does, the train passes through and everything is back the way is was. Yes, it's a big stretch but that's how I see the song.
    MJWhit518on May 23, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOk, here's another interpretation: the song IS talking about trains, but the 60 ton angel falling from the sky sounds much more like a plane crashing into the country side. Perhaps the cousin in the song is one person who died in the plane crash, hence, why the aircraft is called an "angel." The train in his room reminds him of when he used to visit his cousin in the summers (when they had time off), and the rumbling from the train makes him feel (due to the sound of the bed rumbling possibly) like his cousin is there in the room causing the memories to be much more vivid causing him to be "dying of love." "But, it's ok" because he has good memories of them being together in summers that they would spend together.

    For instance, the following part:

    When I hear the engine pass
    I'm kissing you wide
    The hissing subsides
    I'm in luck

    is about how the memories the train brings makes him jovial. But the next part:

    When the evening reaches here
    You're tying me up
    I'm dying of love
    It's OK

    talks about how the memories are killing him. It's like he's tied up on the train tracks being run over by the train, but it's ok- the memories of the good times are worth the pain. Far fetched interpretation? LOL That's what I get from it at the moment.
    komplexnouson February 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always understood the first verses simply as a description of a place, where the character has spent his summers.

    The second verse I think is the whole "Trains" thing,
    "a 60 ton angel-- piece of old metal" is literally a train.
    "scars in the country" are railroad tracks ruining the beautiful countryside.
    bleakon April 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song is talking about a person who is in a time in their life where they must depart something that they love, such as a hometown. This theme relates to trains since trains are always moving forwardand going somewhere else.
    Tbrings90on July 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my personal opinion, this song is about a boy who doesn't want to grow up (this supports the serial killer ideas that a lot have come to form).

    "Train set and match spied under the blind
    Shiny and contoured the railway winds
    And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed
    The hiss of the train at the railway head"

    Could refer to real trains or a train set, I suppose. Playing with a family member. I remember when I was really young, the people I had the most contact with were relatives. So here's a young boy playing with a train set (at least I think) or listening to a train go by while playing with his cousin.

    "Always the summers are slipping away"

    He mourns the fact that summer is short and that ultimate freedom like that doesn't last forever."

    "A 60 ton angel falls to the earth
    A pile of old metal, a radiant blur
    Scars in the country, the summer and her"

    This could refer to his childish comprehension to a disaster or something. Maybe a vehicle crashes, but he calls it a '60 ton angel' with a 'radiant blur'. Then perhaps the next line refers to a disaster internally, to perhaps his mother or cousin?

    "Always the summers are slipping away
    Find me a way for making it stay"

    Again, refering to the child's yearning to not live with rules or responsibility. Summer for all eternity.

    "When I hear the engine pass
    I'm kissing you wide
    The hissing subsides
    I'm in luck"

    Hearing the train go by? Kissing his mother?

    "When the evening reaches here
    You're tying me up
    I'm dying of love
    It's OK"

    This part I really think is about a child resisting his bedtime. 'When the evening reaches here, you're tying me up' goes quite easily. He refuses discipline to the point where he's 'dying of love'...his mother/father loves him, and realizes the natural order or responsibility and discipline, but the child lacks understanding. And it closes with 'It's ok'.

    So this could be the second chapter of the In Absentia serial killer story - the boy's childhood. I think Blackest Eyes, with its references to a boy and mother, refer to the child's conception. Gravity Eyelids where he looses his virginity, Wedding Nails he gets "nailed down by marriage" and his problems really start. Prodigal starts his mid-life crisis and descent into insanity, where, in Strip the Soul, the floodgates finally break loose. And in Collapse the Light Into Earth, he is either dead or imprisoned and the story is over.

    But of course, I haven't figured out The Sound of Muzak's place yet.
    atomsplitteron December 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song definitely is meant to be percieved in different ways by different people. It's about nostalgic childhood memories of summers at cousins' houses that ended too fast (SW frequently refers to having fond memories of trains as a child) but some of the lyrics also have a darker tone which bring to mind the themes of the rest of In Absentia--serial killers, rapists, child abusers, etc. However most of IA's songs are meant to have multiple meanings.
    GroovyJudeon December 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHuh. Here's a little story about me.
    First of all, I live by some train tracks.
    In the summer time, a few years ago, I met a girl who I spent a lot of time with, and who ended up being my first real 'love'. We had a lot of good times together, but I knew, in the long run, we'd never really be able to be together, and I'd probably never see her again. Needless to say, I was simultaneous more happy and more sad during that summer than any other time in my life. My cousin always used to come over and spend the night during the summer, and he came over for a few days one week after a week where I'd spent every day with that girl and told her everything I was thinking and all that.
    So my cousin and I stayed up all night talking about girls and various things like some sort of cheesy scene in a coming-of-age movie from the 80s. The following night, when we actually tried to sleep, I was woken up around midnight by the sound of that freaking train rolling through.
    So here I am, three years later thinking that always the summers are slipping away. I need to find me a way for making them stay.
    Dertton March 31, 2006   Link

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