Drivin' that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

This old engine, makes it on time,
Leaves Central Station at a quarter to nine.
Hits River Junction at seventeen to,
At a quarter to ten you know it's travelin' again.

Drivin' that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

Trouble ahead, The Lady in Red,
Take my advice you'd be better off dead.
Switchman sleepin', train hundred and two,
is on the wrong track and headed for you.

Drivin' that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

Trouble with you is the trouble with me,
Got two good eyes but we still don't see.
Come 'round the bend, you know it's the end,
The fireman screams and the engine just gleams.


Lyrics submitted by capitol76, edited by Davilo

Casey Jones song meanings
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  • +4
    Song Meaning

    Casey Jones was the one of the worlds most famous train engineers. He ran the CannonBall Route between Chicagp and Memphis. Way back in 1900, a fellow engineer called out sick. Casey took the route but now was nearly 1hr 45 minutes behind. As we all know, being late is not good in railroad life. So Casey, being the best there is, ran the route going at times over 100MPH and averaging close to 65MPH over a very dangerous curvey run. He was close to schedule at his 2nd to last stop and departed for the final leg. Unbeknown to him and his crew, another train heading towards him was having problems. Trains travel both ways on the tracks and the train headin South has precedence over the train heading North. The NorthBound train must go into an adjacent track while the other train passes. Unfortunately the other train (train hundred and two) didnt get off the main track so Casey's train whammed into it. Casey Jones died at the crash. He was never on cocaine during his last run - those lines were just added by the Dead.

    Driving that train - refers to casey jones the famous conductor in 1900 high on cocaine - not true but it can refer to going fast like a cannonball casey jones you better watch your speed - he dude love to push the trains to their limit & he was the best there was lady in red - the caboose of the other train he smashed to pieces

    ToadSprocketon February 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Okay so does anybody want to discuss what this song means? Or do you want to squabble? I think I read somewhere that it was about Neal Cassady doing too much drugs (and for the Dead to think that someone is doing too much drugs, you know it has to be bad).

    BarryKardonon April 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    About the song...

    The Dead were not folk musicians (as in Pete Seegers song, Casey Jones) or known to be historians in their time. This song is not about ANY train.

    I believe it is about much more than just drugs/cocaine. This song has deeply sexual overtones. Please, don"t miss the reference to the "lady in red"

    A train is a sexual reference to serial sexual encounters with a single, usually willing, partner. Musicians (esp, deadheads) are surrounded by groupies on the road. Think about Grand Funks reference to the well known (yes... in the biblical way) sexual groupie, Connie Hamzy. Recall the lyric, Sweet sweet connie was doing her act, she had the whole band and thats a natural fact.

    Cocaine as a drug has been widely associated as a precursor to a heightened sexual appetite. I believe this is why, High on cocaine, Casey Jones is "ready" and "speeding".

    The trouble ahead, trouble behind may refer to simultaneous front and rear encounters, or it may just reinforce the "train" of band members.

    The driving fireman is "coming" around the bend (you know its the end). The fireman screams and the "engine" just gleams. I think you get the picture.

    Perhaps the trouble with you and me is that despite our two good eyes, we don't see the lack of love/meaning embodied in these drug crazed band orgies popular on the road of the era.

    I should stay above the fray but I don't think these activities were unique to Hippies.

    Regardless of the interpretation, its still a catchy tune!

    All the best.

    D_BUCKon April 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    it shocks me that people come on here to spew hatred about music and people of an era that was all about peace and love. Who cares if there is such a thing as modern day hippies or you hate hippies, why the fuck does it matter? This music is beautiful and is all about getting along, not hating on each other. i LOVE the Dead, they were an amazing band. RIP Jerry

    elnino64on July 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Well I seem to find myself unable to read through all the posts, so my idea about the the meaning is probably just a repeat of someone else... I feel like this is about being blasted on coc and the way it just makes you do shit you normally wouldn't.

    weallshouldknowon January 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Hunter seems to be using Cocaine and the legend of Casey Jones to warn us of the dangers of pushing ourselves too hard.

    "Trouble with you is the trouble with me, Got two good eyes but you still don't see."

    This is the key line. When one is caught up in the moment, high on coke, or obsessed with work or career, we are tunnel visioned. Nothing else matters and all other concerns fall by the wayside and it is often far too late when we awake to see that disaster in immanent.

    The song is a warning to avoid extremes and to either seek balance or accept that your decisions will end with destruction.

    FeyCheshiron November 03, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    What the hell is your problem?! Why are you being an ass, no one even said anyhting to you in the 1st place. Seems like to me, you NEED a fuckin joint!

    Christion May 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Hey Sierp, why don't you try thinking for yourself rather than regurgitating all the bullshit your parents and teachers have told you your whole life because even though they had good intent, what they were teaching you was really just what the government uses to brainwash the masses. See the hate and anger it has caused in you? You are attacking a group of people (on a message board of all places) who have done nothing to you. The government teaches you to hate hippies, and they do this because they know that hippies are really just non-conforming free thinkers. They're afraid of people like that because if everybody would think for themselves then they couldn't oppress anybody longer. So "Sierp" you can either go on being a tool or you can break the cycle and free your mind. If you choose the latter, I suggest you listen to some music by John Lennon (Imagine in particular), Rage Against the Machine, Tool, System of a Down, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, and others. Also read as many books as possible. My favorites for freeing your mind are books by Carlos Castaneda (Journey to Ixtlan and A Separate Reality in particular) and The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck (which illustrates government oppression better than any other book.) By the way, smoking a joint never hurt anybody, and it will reveal a lot to you about yourself.

    MrMojoRisin5552on May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i don't know who's a better poster child for conservatives; mojo or sierp. both posts say "hippies are losers."

    btw, i like the dead. i like their music, and i'm sure they are (or "were," as the case may be. r.i.p., jerry) good people. i also count widespread panic among my favorite bands.

    i can think for myself, and tend to be a bit of a contrarian. i have no interest in "oppressing" anybody. i possess no hate or anger, and consider myself to be open-minded.

    but, alas, sierp's right.

    hippies suck.

    makersandwateron July 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    How the hell can you possibly say that hippies suck, because in your eyes all they do is smoke a joint? You ignorant asshole! Why don't you look at your OWN generation? The generation WE live in! 20 years from now, who will the children be looking at as pot-smoking losers - the hippies or us? Not only do people today smoke joints, but there's XTC, acid, God, it's impossible to list them all! Why don't you take a good look at yourself now while you can, because soon people will be thinking worse about you than you do about hippies! You see, the difference between the people of this generation and the sixties is, the hippies had an excellent cause. Can you think of a good cause of ours? I'm ASHAMED to live in this generation. I'd much rather live in the sixties with a bunch of pot-smoking turkeys than with you people. I apologize to those who view them from my point of view. Now go and listen to your Eminem. I'm sticking with the Grateful Dead.

    Compuwiz19on August 07, 2002   Link

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