Rufus Wainwright saw a lot of the world in 2002 when he embarked on his first headlining tour, supporting his album Poses. He wrote this song on a Eurostar train from Paris to London near the end of the tour.
"I was very numb," Wainwright explained. "It's about looking at the world and seeing what's actually there, not feeling either good or bad about it, just feeling apart. I was grasping at some kind of mantra - like, even though the world is a strange place, you're still on the train, you paid for your ticket, and it's going to arrive at some point. There are a lot of trains on this album."
This incorporates part of "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel. Wainwright often incorporates works of classical music into his songs.
Suggestion credit: Davis - Montreal, Canada
On the train ride that inspired this song, Wainwright really did see men reading fashion magazines and other images that made it into the lyric. He describes the trip as like watching a video where the French countryside swishes by before finally arriving in Paris, which sounds like the start of a movie (perhaps starring Ethan Hawke).