"Train in Vain" as written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon....
You say you stand by your man
Tell me something I don't understand
You said you love me and that's a fact
And then you left me, said you felt trapped

Well some things you can explain away
But the heartache's in me till this day

Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

All the times
When we were close
I'll remember these things the most
I see all my dreams come tumbling down
I can't be happy without you around

So all alone I keep the wolves at bay
And there is only one thing that I can say

Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me

Did you stand by me
No, not at all

Now I got a job
But it don't pay
I need new clothes
I need somewhere to stay
But without all these things I can do
But without your love I won't make it through

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

Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me?

Did you stand by me
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way


Lyrics submitted by kidyubyub, edited by Ulmanor

"Train in Vain" as written by Mick Jones Joe Strummer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Train in Vain song meanings
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49 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThe meaning of this song is pretty straightforward, so I just want to clarify where the title "Train in Vain" comes from. Viv Albertine, Mick's ex-girlfriend (who this song is about), actually explained it in an interview: "He used to get the train to my place in Shepherds Bush and I would not let him in. He was bleating on the doorstep." Mick takes the train, begs to be let in, and is rejected -- hence, "train in vain." The music was then written to reflect the sound of a chugging train. Pretty clever title.
    stillboredwiththeusaon October 02, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAnother one late to the can. Rock the Casbash was the last song recorded for Combat Rock, and this one was the last one recording for London Calling, it was written in about an hour, and Mick brought it in so late, my vinyl copy doesn't even have it listed as a song. Their biggest hit before Combat Rock and not even listed on the album, sell out? Not.
    arfarfon June 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat does this song mean to me? Well, I think this is self-explainitory, but otherwise about a couple and the woman is neglecting the man. He sings "Now I got a job, but it don't pay, I need new clothes, I need somewhere to stay" and longs for her love in the next two lines. Pretty much sums it up: A guy is confused and trying to prove a point to his woman. "Why did she break up with me?" he might think..
    ClashPepperson March 21, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentvain doesn't mean out of control...

    "to keep the wolves at bay" is an expression meaning meaning to fight something off i.e. any trouble he may have in his life
    laocoonon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Clash are the coolest band. How many bands can hit all the musical genres they do and not look like idiots? They can be political fighters and still have the heartbreak songs and not look like saps...The Clash were awsome.
    oneiros lykoson April 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove the clash, love this song. There's nothing more to say... And my favourite part is: You must explain why this must be, Did you lie when you spoke to me; and: all the times...without you around. And the title is awsome 2. I wonder what does to keep the wolves in bay means?
    _MissVicious_on April 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's an alright song although it's a typical Mick song. I like Joe's songs better, as a whole. Although I do love the bass roll in this song.
    tommy_gunon June 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song 1.)the intro 2.)the way Mick sings it
    3.)the organ in the background 4.)awesome title
    P.S. - anyone know what "train in vain" means?
    queenjaneon September 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt wasn't supposed to be a "hidden" tune. It was just recorded late and thus didn't make it into the liner notes. Oops. A train in vain means your making the effort for no reason.
    LolaBaton October 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is like an answer to that song Stand By Me "Did you stand by me? No not at all" and at the same time sticking with that lack of "Career Opportunities" theme "Now I gotta job, but it don't pay"
    iamrickenforton November 10, 2004   Link

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