Downbound Train - Chuck Berry

Downbound Train

Chuck Berry

(Chuck Berry, CHESS 1615, 1956)

A stranger lying on a bar room floor
Had drank so much he could drink no more
And so he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a downbound train

The engine was blooded, was sweaty and damp
And brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp
An imp for fuel was shoveling bones
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans

The boiler was filled with a lot of beer
The devil himself was the engineer
The passengers were most a motley crew
Some were foreigners and others he knew
Rich men and broad clothed beggars in rags
Handsome young ladies and wicked old hags

As the train rushed on at a terrible pace
Sulphuric fumes scorched their hands and face
Wider and wider the country grew
Faster and faster the engine flew
Louder and louder the thunder crashed
Brighter and brighter the lighting flashed

Hotter and hotter the air became
Till their clothes were burned with each quivering flame
Then out of the distance there came a yell
Ha ha, said the devil we're nearing home
Oh, how the passengers shrieked with pain
They begged old satan to stop that train
The stranger awoke with an anguished cry
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high
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 downbound train

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