I Don't Want to Ride the Rails No More

Songfacts®:

  • "I Don't Want to Ride the Rails No More" is a somber, yearning song about a restless wanderer who wants a change of lifestyle. As he reflects on the passage of time, the drifter has had enough of "hoppin' freight trains." Instead, he wants to:

    Know a woman's love worth dyin' for
    Hear children playin' through an old screen door
  • Vince Gill has logged up thousands of miles on tour buses. His journeys are far more comfortable than the song's itinerant traveler, who is often cold and hungry, but the singer can identify with the feelings of dislocation and loneliness. Gill wrote the song while reflecting on his own life on the road:

    "It just has such a great history of Grapes of Wrath and just old school people hopping freight trains and struggling and riding them out," he said in a press release. "Maybe Dust Bowl folks riding them out, copping a ride on a train somewhere. I just think that that whole image of riding a train has just this great beauty to it. So, it's really just a song of reflection, of a life that at times is lonely but 'I don't want to ride the rails no more. I want to find a woman's love worth dying for.' That's yearning. It's hopeful."
  • The song opens Vince Gill's 15th studio album, Okie. The title comes from the once-derogatory term used to disparage very poor migrant agricultural workers from Oklahoma who'd been forced to leave their farms during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression eras. It is now used to describe a native of Oklahoma. Vince Gill is, himself, a proud Oklahoman.
  • Gill wrote "Rails," along with the other songs on Okie, solo. He co-produced the tracks with Justin Niebank (Eli Young Band's "Dust").

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