Crushed in the corridor
Swimming in smoke
Broken leg; aching head
Tried polite conversation in braille, broken French
Though my friend chews his garlic
he's dead from his head to his sandles

I tear at the handle
and we came to a shuddering stop
and we topple like dominoes, swallowed
the hot tide of bread crumbs and cheap wine
The cavalry dived into action
with batons; knives
they gave me a fine
ripped the shirt off my back
threw my case on the tracks
saw it smashed to a fragmented mess
by the midnight express from Atlantis
oo-oo

A manifestation of pure liquid light
Never stops at the stations, it flies overnight
as we crawl in a circle; the sinks overflow
All the windows are enclosed
and the ape on my shoulder's overdosed
He rattles a can for some change
then he rolls around, over in pain
and wraps his legs around my ankles; I try to complain
All I want is a coffee and get off this train
oo-oo


Lyrics submitted by Delirium

Expresso Noir song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThere are several "train" songs featured in the lyrics of Edward Ka-Spel, such as "The Train to Never" from his solo album "Textures of Illumina" and "The Train to China" from the Tear Garden album "Eye Spy with my Little Eye".

    Expresso is a variant on Espresso which is a strong coffee brewed by forcing steam under pressure through darkly roasted, powdered coffee beans. It seems also to be a play on "Express" as in an Express train ride.

    Noir, is a genre of film and subsequent literature which can be characterized by:

    1. Of or relating to the film noir genre.
    2. Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak settings.
    3. Suggestive of danger or violence.

    Certainly this strange train ride seems to have those things in it, mixed with the fact that all he wants is some coffee and to get off hte train (to never? to nowhere?)

    I love the idea of conversation (polite, even) in braille - a form of divets on paper or other mediums used by the blind.

    The Braille system was based on a method of communication originally developed by Charles Barbier in response to Napoleon's demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night called night writing. Barbier's system was too complex for soldiers to learn, and was rejected by the military. In 1821 he visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris, France, where he met Louis Braille. Braille identified the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not encompass the whole symbol without moving, and so could not move rapidly from one symbol to another. His modification was to use a 6 dot cell — the Braille system — which revolutionized written communication for the blind.

    So, Edward's next line - "broken French" is even funnier.

    Placing garlic in the mouth of a corpse suspected of being a Vampire was part of the ritual for making sure the corpse never reanimated.

    The character pulls the emergency stop.

    The "Calvary" give him a fine. Usually the phrase would be something like "Gosh, he's so nice he would hive you the shirt right off of his back." In this case they rip it off his back.

    Then they throw his "case" on the tracks. Is this the "case" in which he was just fined, or a "case" one carries onto a train like a business or suitcase? Are these tracks even the ones that regular trains run on, or are they the grooves of a record?

    Lastly, I wonder if this ape is the one Edward speaks of in "Guilty Man" from the next year's album "Shadow Weaver":

    "All wired up with no-one to kick but myself in a cell and an ape with a stick who's bigger than me and complains that he's sick of my story."

    I'd want off this train too. Make mine black, please.

    Madpropheton December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song. I first heard it live on a gig, and only after that I got The Maria Dimension. It’s one of the best pieces there, musically and lyrically. A wonderfully dark story of a ride on a mysterious train that never stops, nobody knows where it’s going and strange this happen there. Like a bad dream, it has the dreamy atmosphere. I love all the wordplays, it’s EK-S at his best. “midnight express from Atlantis...”
    slow pulse boyon July 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song. I first heard live on a gig, and only after that I got The Maria Dimension. It’s one of the best pieces there, musically and lyrically. A wonderfully dark story of a ride on a mysterious train that never stops, nobody know where it’s going and strange THINGS happen there. Like a bad dream, it has the dreamy atmosphere. I love all the wordplays, it’s EK-S at his best. “midnight express from Atlantis...”
    slow pulse boyon July 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionCrushed in the corridor
    Swimming in smoke
    Broken leg, aching head
    Tried polite conversation in braille

    Broken French
    Though my friend chews his garlic
    He's dead from his head to his sandels
    I tear at the handle

    And we came to a shuddering stop
    And we topple like dominoes
    Swallowed the hot tid
    Of bread crumbs and cheap wine

    The cavalry dived into action
    With batons... knives...
    They gave me a fine
    Ripped the shirt off my back

    Threw my case on the tracks
    Saw it smashed to a fragmented mess
    By the midnight express from Atlantis

    00:00

    A manifestation of pure liquid light
    Never stops at the stations, it flies overnight
    As we crawl in a circle

    The sinks overflow
    All the windows are enclosed
    And the ape on my shoulders overdosed

    He rattles a can for some change
    Then he rolls around, over in pain
    And wraps his legs around my ankles

    I try to complain.
    All I want is a coffee
    And get off this train

    00:00
    Anilandon November 21, 2010   Link

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