Down Bound Train
Chuck Berry Lyrics


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 that down bound train

The engine with blood was sweaty and damp
And brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp
And imps for fuel was shovelling bones
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans
The boiler was filled with lots 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 lost beggars in rags
Handsome young ladies and wicked old hags

As the train rushed on at a terrible pace
Sulfuric 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
Til' their clothes were burned with each quivering refrain
Then out of the din there came a yell
Ha ha, said the devil we're nearing home

Oh, how the passengers shrieked with pain
They go to Satan with this down bound 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 down bound train

Lyrics © ENTERTAINMENT ONE U.S. LP
Written by: CHUCK BERRY

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

bass reeves

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

[Verse 2]
The engine with blood was sweaty and damp
And brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp
And imps for fuel was shoveling bones
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans

[Verse 3]
The boiler was filled with lots of beer
The devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were most a motley crew
Some were foreigners and others he knew:

[Verse 4]
Rich men in broadcloth, 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;

[Verse 5]
Wider and wider the country grew
Faster and faster the engine flew
Louder and louder the thunder crashed
Brighter and brighter the lightning flashed



[Verse 6]
Hotter and hotter the air became
Till their clothes were burned and they were screaming with pain;
Then out of the distance there came a yell
"Ha ha", said the devil, "We're nearing home"

[Verse 7]
Oh how the passengers shrieked with pain
And begged old Satan to stop that train
The stranger awoke with an anguished cry
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high;

[Verse 8]
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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All comments from YouTube:

Erik Killmonger

He's such a brilliant, witty lyricist. That line "Then out of the distance there came a YELL, 'ha ha' said the devil we're nearing HOME." Now, "home" doesn't rhyme with "yell" and Chuck knows it. But he makes you think, "what does rhyme with "yell" and also starts with the letter H. He's clever, that Chuck Berry, very clever.

Tyrone Smith

This song will stop you in your tracks so to speak. I think this is an amazing piece of music. it makes you think, it is haunting and it tells a story. Music and songwriting at its best which is why Chuck Berry was the best.

Paul Hooson

An unusual dark song from the usually uplifting and buoyant Chuck Berry...

CarpenterSkates1

This song is not dark. There is a dark canvas presented... He then paints a story of Hope. "But the prayers he prayed were not in vain, because he never rode that down bound train" (to hell)

I always listen to this song right after Nina Simones Sinnerman

Dvd Avins

I can imagine Tennessee Ernie Ford covering this.

MrJadedtom

Chuck has managed to turn 'rock lyrics' into a mini 'Twilight Zone' story. His command of the language reads like literature. Hail, hail Chuck Berry, the True King of Rock and Roll.

RickGibbonsOfficial

WOW! Prime Chuck! Never heard this tune....he has so many songs that never hit the radios that are worth listening to, this, La Juanda, Wee Wee Hours etc etc

Dio Santana

"A stranger lie 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 down...bound....train". What a story, painted in the first 10 seconds. I actually found this looking for Bruce Springsteen's downbound train about 10 years ago and I fell in love with this song as well.

thelostone

Great song by the Godfather of R&R

Vladimir Sánchez

One of my favorite musicians of all the time..

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