Fast train, where do your passengers wait?
What's at the heart of your engine's rage?
To what smooth place at the end of the line
With crackling fires and quiet plains
Do the trees bend down? Fold their limbs round you?
Welcome home, faithful one, we forgive you

Slow down, fast train
Slow down, fast train
Take me with you


Lyrics submitted by _scandalous, edited by smallwonderrobot

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    General CommentI think that this song is about technology and Manifest Destiny -- the latter being the belief held by many individuals in the United States' government in the 19th century and 19th-20th century Americans that the geographic "destiny" of the United States was to spread white American settlements across the North American continent, stretching from the East (Massachusetts) toward the West (California and Washington). This concept is reflected in the first line of the second verse where Neko sings "To smooth place at the end of the line." The Pacific Ocean and the unsettled west ("crackling fires and quiet plains") would be at the end of the line if the song is indeed about westward expansion.

    This song integrates the concept of Manifest Destiny with technology by focusing on the railroad system. During the 19th century, railroads connected otherwise separated urban and rural communities and shrank the distance between people, so to speak. But the construction of railroads and the building of white communities across the west caused the western landscape to be ravaged in order to support large populations (think: LA and the surrounding desert).

    The fascinating and unique thing about this song (and all of Neko's songs seem to have a twist like this) is that she asks progress (the train) if nature (the trees) accept it and forgive it.

    Also, the speaker in the song seems to totally want to go west in spite of any/all of consequences...

    Mindblowing.
    cateelizon September 07, 2008   Link

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