Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt Texas 1947 cover

Texas 1947
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Lyrics and Meaning


Texas 1947 Lyrics

Song Meaning
Verse 1
Now bein' six years old, I had seen some trains before
So it's hard to figure out what I'm at the depot for
Verse 2
Trains are big and black and smokin' - steam screamin' at the wheels
Bigger than anything they is, at least that's the way she feels
Verse 3
Trains are big and black and smokin', louder'n July four,
But everybody's actin' like this might be somethin' more...
Verse 4
Than just pickin' up the mail, or the soldiers from the war
This is somethin' that even old man Wileman never seen before
Verse 5
And it's late afternoon on a hot Texas day
Somethin' strange is goin' on, and we's all in the way
Verse 6
Well there's fifty or sixty people they're just sittin' on their cars
And the old men left their dominos and they come down from the bars
Verse 7
Everybody's checkin', old Jack Kittrel check his watch
And us kids put our ears to the rails to hear 'em pop
Verse 8
So we already knowed it, when they finally said 'train time'
You'd a-thought that Jesus Christ his-self was rollin' down the line
Verse 9
'Cause things got real quiet, momma jerked me back
But not before I'd got the chance to lay a nickel on the track
Verse 10
Look out here she comes, she's comin'
Look out there she goes, she's gone,
Screamin' straight through Texas
Like a mad dog cyclone
Verse 11
Big, red, and silver
She don't make no smoke
She's a fast-rollin' streamline
Come to show the folks
Verse 12
Verse 13
Lord, she never even stopped
Verse 14
She left fifty or sixty people still sittin' on their cars
And they're wonderin' what it's comin' to
And how it got this far
Verse 15
Oh but me I got a nickel smashed flatter than a dime
By a mad dog, runaway red-silver streamline...train

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