SONG OF THE DAY Chuck Berry – The Downbound Train


The Downbound train was originally released in December 1955 as the B Side of Chuck Berry’s No Money Down.

Driven by a relentless, fast locomotive tempo, the song hurls you onto the scorched carriage of a “train rushed on at a terrible pace” as it fast approaches its hellish destination, driven by none other than the devil himself.

Inspired by Chuck Berry’s staunch religious upbringing, Downbound Train is a song about redemption.  Warning against alcohol abuse it tells the story of a man who, after drinking far too much, falls asleep on a bar room floor and enters into a vivid dream about riding a train driven by the devil!  When the man wakes up he renounces the demon drink as the lyrics describe how he “fell on his knees on the bar room floor, And prayed a prayer like never before, And the prayers and vows were not in vain, for he never rode that down bound train…”

In his autobiography, Berry wrote this of the song:

“I could say my father, in many ways, really wrote the foundation for ‘Down Bound Train’ in his constant preaching of the horrors of hell once you’ve missed the blessings of salvation and heaven.  So let it be known that I’m not alone to reap what I’ve sown in fire and brimstone because of my own bad traits that I’ve shown.” 
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This entry was posted in Chess records, Rock, rock n roll and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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