Big Black Train

Album: Good Souls Better Angels (2020)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Good Souls Better Angels finds Tom Overby, Lucinda Willams' husband and manager, contributing to the lyrics for the first time. He originated this heart-wrenching song where the titular "big black train" is a metaphor for depression.

    Williams admitted to American Songwriter that when he first brought the idea to her, she questioned it. "Another song about a train? And a black train at that? Like how many songs have been written about trains?" So, Overby explained he was thinking about a train representing the big, black cloud of depression.

    Williams finished the lyrics, wrote the melody, arranged the tune and now she says the song makes her cry every time she sings it.
  • Lucinda Williams was for a time uncertain about sharing writing credits with Tom Overby. "I was hesitant about the idea, like, 'Oh, now she's writing with her husband,' but nobody's reacted that way," she told Billboard. "It is still me. It reminds me of Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen [Brennan]; they've written stuff together, but it's still Tom Waits."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

Gary Lewis

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.