Grand Central Station

Album: Between Here and Gone (2004)
Play Video


  • Grand Central Station is a train terminal in New York City, and a bustling hub of activity. It's a majestic building where amid the din, travelers can find moments of reflection, as so many journeys started or ended there.

    Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote the song after hearing an interview with an iron worker who was one of the first on the scene after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The interview aired on a New York City radio station on the first anniversary of the attacks, and it brought Chapin Carpenter to tears. "Those first few days there at ground zero, he felt it was a very holy place," she told NPR. "When his shifts were over, he felt this lifeforce was somehow asking for his help, and when he would leave his shift he figured, whoever wants to go, I'll take him with me, and he'd find himself just going to Grand Central Station, standing on the platform, and figuring whoever wanted to go home could just catch the train home."

    Chapin Carpenter immediately started writing the song, and had it finished three days later.

Comments: 2

  • Lyn from Se PaThis song is, as Chaplin has told, from the viewpoint of a man who worked to clean up the WTC site after the horrendous terrorist attacks that killed so many on 9/11. You can read more about what she says about it here:
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 2nd 1913, Grand Central Station in New York City officially opened at 12:01 AM, at the time it was largest railroad terminal in the world* and more than 150,000 people visited the terminal on its opening day...
    The song was track five of side two on her ninth studio album, 'Between Here and Gone', and the album reached #5 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, #50 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Ms. Carpenter will celebrate her 57th birthday in nineteen days on February 21st {2015}...
    * In the number of platforms (48} it is still the largest in the World.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.