Blame the Train

from by Jacob Haller

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about

Trains loom large in folk, blues, and country songs in a way that other means of transit don't. Occasionally they are a symbol of hope and freedom but often they are harbingers of doom -- there are lots of songs about laying one's head on a lonesome railroad line out there, for instance.

So this song is an attempt to join that tradition. Originally the ending was much grimmer but I decided that approach didn't work and changed to the current, more optimistic, ending.

When we do the song live, Joe plays the mandolin and drums at the same time, which is an impressive thing to see. For the recording he overdubbed the mandolin later, which allowed him to get that cool train-like chugging sound on the snare drum.

I originally was going to just have Chris sing backing vocals on this, but then I heard Natalie sing along and it sounded so good I asked her to join in too.

lyrics

I was going down to DC for
the best day of my life.
I was going to see my sweetheart
& make that girl my wife.
I waited at the station
but the train did not arrive.

Blame the train!
That's why I'm always late.
It's not me!
I do not procrastinate.
These excuses
have got to seem quite lame.
But I'm telling you, it's not my fault.
Please, darlin', blame the train.

I went to drive back home
to call my loving lass.
I sped towards the railway crossing
when I heard a whistle blast.
I had to sit & wait as a hundred
railcars rumbled past.

Blame the train!
It's why I never call.
It's not me!
I'm always on the ball.
These excuses
have got to seem quite lame.
But I'm telling you, it's not my fault.
Please, darlin', blame the train.

This song seems headed for tragedy,
but in fact it's not that way.
I took the next plane South
and I wed her that same day,
and now here's what I tell her
every morning, every day:

Blame the train!
It's the reason that I snore.
It's not me!
who forgot to wash the floor.
These excuses
may seem a bit insane.
But I'm telling you, it's not my fault.
Please, darlin', blame the train.

credits

from Circumstantial Evidence, released November 11, 2011
Jacob Haller: vocals, acoustic guitar
Natalie Markward: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
Chris Monti: backing vocals
Joe Auger: drums, mandolin

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about

Jacob Haller Providence, Rhode Island

Jacob Haller has been a fixture of the Rhode Island music scene for ten years, and has been frequently featured in popular shows such as AS220's Empire Revue and Common Fence Point Music's annual Gathering of Fiddlers & Fishermen.

"Jacob Haller is not only a talented musician and songwriter, he's also a talented songwriter and musician."

-- Harper Johnson, Co-Host of The Blues Record podcast
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