Down Bound Train

Album: After School Session (1955)

Songfacts®:

  • According to Chuck Berry's autobiography, "Down Bound Train" was inspired by Berry's fire-and-brimstone religious upbringing; both his parents were staunch Baptists, and sang in the Antioch Church Choir, which rehearsed at his home. It is a song about redemption and a warning against alcohol abuse. A man who has too much to drink falls asleep on a bar room floor and has a vivid dream about riding a train. The train, which is driven by the Devil himself, contains an eclectic mix of people he knows, foreigners, rich and poor. When the man wakes up he renounces the demon drink. The message is that anyone from any background can be afflicted by drink - or by some other vice or sin - but we can all choose to be saved.
  • "Down Bound Train" was released in December 1955 as the B Side of "No Money Down." The title is sometimes given as "The Down Bound Train" or "Downbound Train." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 3

  • Joel from Columbia, ScInteresting considering Bruce Springsteen also had a song called Down Bound Train. I guess there just some things that can't be copyrited.
  • Joel from San Diego, CaIt isn't inspired by Chuck Berry's upbringing because he didn't write it. It's an old song or poem of some sort that has been written/played differently (with slight variations in lyrics) many times. It's called Hell-Bound Train, and his religious upbringing could have influenced him to change it to Down-Bound Train. I think it's probably an old cowboy song, because the opening line is something like "A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor..." Here is a link with a copy of one version of it.
    http://www.mochinet.com/recitals/hellbound.html
  • Hh from Hh, AustriaThis song features a fade in 1955
see more comments

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