Step aboard the musical train as this article takes you on a journey through 20 songs with the word “train” in their titles. From the soulful melodies of “Midnight Train To Georgia” by Gladys Knight to the upbeat country twang of “Night Train” by Jason Aldean, these songs will transport you to a world filled with the rhythmic allure of trains. With a diverse selection spanning multiple genres including rock, jazz, and country, each song tells its own unique story, capturing the essence of travel and adventure. Join the rhythm and discover why trains have become a cherished theme among musicians, captivating listeners with their hypnotic beats and echoing the spirit of exploration.
Midnight Train To Georgia by Gladys Knight and The Pips
“Midnight Train To Georgia” is a soulful and iconic song by Gladys Knight and The Pips. Released in 1973, this classic hit tells the story of a woman leaving Los Angeles to return to Georgia. She chooses to leave behind the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry to support her partner and follow her heart. With its heartfelt lyrics, lush harmonies, and Gladys Knight’s powerful vocals, the song beautifully captures the emotions and sacrifices made for love.
Love Train by The O’Jays
“Love Train” by The O’Jays is an uplifting soul song that promotes unity, love, and peace. Released in 1972, this feel-good track encourages listeners to come together and ride the “Love Train” to a better world. With its infectious groove, catchy chorus, and positive message, “Love Train” became a huge hit and an anthem for love and unity.
Last Train to Clarksville by The Monkees
“Last Train to Clarksville” is a 1966 song by The Monkees, an American rock band. While not strictly a soul or R&B song, it incorporates elements of these genres. This catchy tune tells the story of a young man who is heading off to the Vietnam War. The protagonist is waiting for the last train to Clarksville, representing his final chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. The song’s commercial success and memorable melody made it a signature hit for The Monkees.
Night Train by Jason Aldean
“Night Train” is a country song by Jason Aldean, released in 2012. It embraces the train theme metaphorically, comparing the fast-paced, unpredictable journey of life to a “night train.” Aldean’s raspy vocals and the driven rhythm reflect the energy and excitement that comes with embracing life’s adventures, just like riding a train in the dark.
Hellbound Train by Savoy Brown
Savoy Brown, a British blues rock band, released “Hellbound Train” in 1972. This bluesy country-rock song tells a cautionary tale about the consequences of living a reckless, sinful life. The lyrics speak of regret and the narrative of being on the “hellbound train.” With its gritty guitar riffs and soulful vocals, this track captivates listeners with its raw emotion and powerful storytelling.
Long Black Train by Josh Turner
“Long Black Train” is a haunting country song by Josh Turner, released in 2003. This captivating track presents a dark and mysterious story, where the “long black train” symbolizes temptation and sin. Turner’s deep voice combined with the eerie lyrics creates an atmosphere that immerses listeners into the struggle between good and evil. The song’s distinctive sound and thought-provoking message made it a standout hit in the country music scene.
Peace Train by Cat Stevens
“Peace Train” is a timeless rock song by Cat Stevens, released in 1971. Inspired by his spiritual journey and desire for peace, this track features Stevens’ warm, soothing voice and acoustic guitar. “Peace Train” is a symbolic song, using the train as a metaphor for unity, love, and global harmony. Its melodic simplicity and uplifting message have made it a beloved anthem for peace.
Runaway Train by Soul Asylum
“Runaway Train” is a poignant rock song by Soul Asylum, released in 1992. This emotionally charged track sheds light on issues such as homelessness and mental health. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of people feeling lost and forgotten, like “runaway trains.” The song’s powerful message and Soul Asylum’s passionate delivery earned it critical acclaim and resonated with audiences worldwide.
Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) by Train
“Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” is a popular rock song by the band Train, released in 2001. The song takes listeners on a journey through space and time, with references to the celestial and interplanetary. Lyrical themes of love, loss, and self-discovery blend with a captivating melody and lead singer Pat Monahan’s soulful vocals. “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” became Train’s breakout hit, showcasing their ability to create emotionally charged and memorable rock music.
Take the A Train by Duke Ellington
“Take the A Train” is a jazz standard composed by Billy Strayhorn and famously performed by Duke Ellington and his orchestra. Released in 1941, this lively and dynamic track became Duke Ellington’s signature song, synonymous with the elegance, excitement, and improvisational spirit of jazz music. With its swinging rhythm and memorable melody, “Take the A Train” remains a classic in the jazz genre.
Night Train by Jimmy Forrest
“Night Train” is an instrumental jazz piece written by Jimmy Forrest and released in 1951. This influential track, driven by its iconic saxophone melody, embodies the energy and rhythm of a train moving through the night. Known for its catchy hooks and infectious groove, “Night Train” became one of the most recognizable pieces in jazz history, inspiring numerous cover versions and becoming a staple in live performances.
Blue Train by John Coltrane
“Blue Train” is a jazz composition by legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, released in 1957. This instrumental piece showcases Coltrane’s virtuosity and inventive improvisation within the framework of a bluesy melody. “Blue Train” is regarded as one of the greatest jazz recordings of all time, a testament to Coltrane’s mastery of his instrument and his ability to convey powerful emotions through his music.
The City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman
“The City of New Orleans” is a folk song written by Steve Goodman and made famous by Arlo Guthrie’s rendition in 1972. This thoughtful track tells the tale of a train journey from Chicago to New Orleans, capturing the beauty and resilience of America’s heartland along the way. It’s a tribute to the enduring spirit of the working class, the landscapes they traverse, and the connections they make during their travels.
Orange Blossom Special by Johnny Cash
“Orange Blossom Special” is a lively folk and bluegrass instrumental piece often associated with Johnny Cash. First recorded in 1938 by Ervin T. Rouse, Cash brought this fiddle-driven tune to a broader audience in the 1960s. The song captures the excitement and energy of a train ride, perfectly emulating the speed and rhythm of a fast-moving locomotive.
Mystery Train by Elvis Presley
“Mystery Train” is a rockabilly and blues-influenced folk song famously performed by Elvis Presley, released in 1955. The song’s haunting lyrics and raw, stripped-down sound create an atmosphere of mystery and anticipation. By incorporating train imagery, the song explores themes of transience, longing, and the enigmatic nature of life’s journey.
Trains have long captivated the imagination of musicians across various genres, serving as a potent symbol of travel, adventure, and the rhythmic motion of life. From soulful ballads to rock anthems, jazz standards to folk tales, these 20 songs with “train” in their titles demonstrate the enduring fascination with trains in music. Each song presents a unique theme, telling stories of love, unity, sin, peace, and everything in between.
Whether it’s Gladys Knight and The Pips singing about love and sacrifice in “Midnight Train To Georgia” or Cat Stevens spreading a message of peace and harmony in “Peace Train,” these songs resonate with audiences and transport them to different emotional landscapes. The hypnotic rhythm and imagery associated with trains provide artists with a canvas to explore universal human experiences and emotions.
While the songs listed in this article span different genres, they all share a common thread of utilizing the train metaphor to create powerful narratives. The train represents movement, transition, and the poetic journey through life. It is a vehicle for storytelling, enabling artists to explore love, loss, societal issues, and the human condition.
Whether you prefer the soul-stirring melodies of soul and R&B, the energetic riffs of rock, the improvisational spirit of jazz, or the heartfelt storytelling of folk, there is a train song for everyone. These songs not only entertain but also offer glimpses into the hopes, dreams, and struggles of the human experience. So, next time you hear a train whistle in the distance, let these songs transport you to different musical landscapes and inspire you to embark on your own metaphorical journey. All aboard the train of musical exploration!