"Broken Train" as written by and Beck Hansen....
The sniper are passed out
In the bushes again
I'm glad I got my suit dry-cleaned
Before the riots started
Cause there's only rehashed faces
On the bread line tonight
Soon you'll be a figment
Of some infamous life

Billionaires smile like weapons
Passing out platinum pensions
They're out of control
No one know how low they'll go

(Hold on)
Take a ride on a broken train

These bra burning deportees
At the service station
They know that beige
Is the color of resignation

We're out of control
No one knows how low we'll go

(Hold on)
Take a ride on a broken train

Shinin' like crystal tiaras
Ghettos and grey Rivieras
This is the real me ladies
You won't find no shelter here

Tell me, what's your zip code baby
Did you ever let a cowboy sit on your lap

Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Broken Train" as written by Beck Hansen

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Broken Train song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentrriots
    subterranean_summeron January 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song describes a messed up society, likely our own. This is what Beck calls the "broken train".
    Snipers are called in to enforce a corrupt government, but since they have no sense of duty they just get drunk and pass out in the bushes.
    The society kicks out its protesters, hence the "bra burning deportees".
    The ultra rich hand themselves lavish kickbacks, such as the "platinum pensions" Beck refers to.
    Meanwhile, there's an insane disparity between rich and poor, which Beck portrays by "Ghettos and Grey Rivieras"
    s16807on April 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbread line might be a reference to red line, the metro line that runs through L.A. I dunno....
    subterranean_summeron March 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see a soup kitchen sort of deal when I hear "bread line." Folks in a line, waiting for bread.

    This song has a lot of contrast between the rich and the poor... The rich lie and cheat, while the "bra-burning deportees" stand up for what they believe in.

    p.s. when did they do the bra-burning thing? I'm thinking it was in the '70s, but it had to have been earlier than that.
    Greyshoeson August 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits a song about touring
    j.enslowon August 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell this album is meant to be about alternative sex (midnite vultures) but I cant see a connection to be honest. Unless its about really dirty sex ie the line noone knows how low we'll go (hold on) take a ride on a broken train!
    Robzoooon February 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBra-burning, as a cultural phenomenon, is a myth. Check snopes. Beck would have defintely known this.
    androgybunnyon March 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song.

    The bari sax line is..amazing.
    Honeythatsokon May 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with j.enslow. I suggest it's about touring, the crowds, how they'll perform and the ins and outs of it all.
    shockdelicaon December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's the end of capitalism!! The train is broken! We're out of kontrol! (Haha even the spelling is ironic) How low will we go?! No one knows!!

    Whatever happens though, we're in for one crazy surreal catastrophic ride (on a broken train).

    Add: "Beige Is the color of resignation"....hilarious. I know of only a small handful of songwriters who are able to consistently employ that magical transmutation of surreal and seemingly indirect/random descriptive language into such clearly-voiced, intentional, meaning. It's like he's able to cut right to the heart of the matter, putting his finger right on the detail(s) that encompass(es) the whole (and thus is able to make wide-ranging, universal commentary on our modern existence with just a handful of disparate images--- probably this is why a lot of people think he's just "random" and "surreal" for the hell of it. But maybe he purposely wants it that way.... below most people's radar.... who knows?!)
    Hewoahon December 16, 2011   Link

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