"Railroad Man" as written by and Mark O. Everett....
Feel like an old railroad man
Ridin' out on the Bluemont line
Hummin' along old dominion blues
Not much to see and not much left to lose
And I know I can walk along the tracks
It may take a little longer but I'll know how to find my way back

I feel like an old railroad man
Who's really tried the best that he can
To make his life add up to something good
But this engine no longer burns on wood
And I guess I may never understand
The times that I live in are not made for a railroad man

I feel like an old railroad man
Getting on board at the end of an age
The station's empty and the whistle blows
Things are faster now and this train is just too slow
And I know I can walk along the tracks
It may take a little longer but I'll know how to find my way back

Lyrics submitted by Eamon

"Railroad Man" as written by Mark O. Everett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Railroad Man song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is the best song of 2005 so far. Incredible.
    Eamonon May 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat lyrics and impossible to not see the point for anyone who would read them. However, because things look dark, bleak and unfair, doesn't leave us with out life to live. So choices must be made and being dismal only makes this generation fullfill its perceived destiny. Any man with dignity needs to make a challenge of it all. In a sense we live in an age pure freedom, driving a car into closed gate into darkness. We could stop and wither or see how fast and hard we can smash through and with smiles wait to see what happens. Laughing all the way!

    why worry? why despair? Nothing to lose means nothing to lose.
    markedtwainedon May 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song so much!
    "To make his life add up to something good
    But this engine no longer burns on wood" best line by far
    scottecooperon May 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI´m getting it as a statement for being overrun by modern age, and on not being able to adapt into chancing of time."The times that I live in are not made for a --------"
    Zedongon February 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing! I had forgotten about the Eels... I heard the band perform this on Jay Leno and was blown away!!! It's like an ageless classic tune, just perfect songwriting. It really is a masterpiece...

    I guess this tune is nothing like them because I ran out and got the album, hoping to hear more songs like it. It's taking me awhile to get into the rest of it because the majority of it is very experimental and emo-like, unlike this tune which is just so pure and wonderful without all the bells and whistles.

    Normally, I love the bells and whistles, but I'm just shocked. I've read nothing but GREAT things though, about the new album... so maybe I just need to let go and allow the music to fill me?? I know Tom Waits - one of my all-time favorite songwriters - shows up on it, so if he likes it, it has to be good! haha
    ckad79on February 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about the nostalgia for the past and simpler times when hard work and integrity were things by which to live.
    suclid003on April 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis one reminds me of my old man, who, certainly enough, happens to be a retired railroad man.
    swollen uvulaon March 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy boyfriend picked up on this song first. It's a genius song, which to me is about feeling left behind in a modern age in which one doesn't belong. About belonging to another time that you still kind of long for, but realize it has long since passed. Makes me sad, but I love it.
    Morgstresson September 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's specifically about having integrity in the music industry.
    hazbosson April 02, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI once wrote a line "I'm the kid with plenty ink, I'm just running out of pages." - somehow, this song is full of lines just like that, not just one that took me twenty years to think up. It's about time, and being out-of-sync with the time.

    Just because he can't keep up to stay on the train, doesn't mean he can't walk the track instead. It might (and probably will) take him longer to get to where he wants to go - but he'll meet you there, nonetheless.
    Brubakeron July 29, 2013   Link

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