Taken from his 1975 concept album Southern Nights, of which he later described as the work the great composer, producer and performer was most proud. This opening track is part of the seminal body of work that established the New Orleans R&B sound, with that mixture of soul and funk riffs on piano and horn section interweaving beautifully, with a funky, chugging sound that evokes the whistle and sound of the engine.
The train them is also classic blues material, but Toussaint, known as a smooth and cool customer and consummate musician, who wrote every song on this album dedicated to his native city, uses it as a metaphor to describe his own struggles – of trying to keep up with work and love with the fast pace of life. “Buku brain” is a phrase that was commonly referred to for Vietnam veterans who who had experienced too much. But Toussaint neither adds too much or too little on this song – it is pretty much perfect, as is the rest of this masterpiece album.
Last train a running between the waters
With the power line
Last train's a running around the hill
Last train a leaving on the quarter hour down
Last chance to get your thrill
This world is getting so much faster
It's too sad
Poor trains are rolling down slow
And I'm about to keep up with the latter
It's too bad
When it's my nature to lay low
You got me huffing and puffing and chugging like a choo choo train (choo choo)
Huffing and puffing and chugging like a choo choo train (choo choo)
Hissing and kissing and missing like a buku brain
Huffing and puffing and chugging like a choo choo train
Just like the engine has a jumper
My head is wondering where to go
And you done got so many different trips you know
My face is wondering where to go
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