Making tracks: Springsteen releases new song 'Tucson Train'
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Making tracks: Springsteen releases new song 'Tucson Train'

Tucson's history is that of a railroad town, and Bruce Springsteen has long had a lyrical fascination with rail travel: they come together in his just-released song, "Tucson Train."

The Boss released a video for the new tune on Thursday. The promo features subtle black-and-white of Springsteen and a band performing the song in a studio. The gritty lyrics of the song ("Hard work'll clear your mind and body / The hard sun will burn out the pain") and spare videography contrast with the lush music and polished vocal.

Along with "Tucson Train," all of the songs released thus far from Springsteen's forthcoming "Western Stars" album are among the most polished of his career. They evoke the careful craftsmanship of late-'60s and early-'70s singer-songwriter releases: Glen Campbell, Harry Nilsson, Tucson's own Linda Ronstadt, and other echoes of a bygone California music scene. Springsteen himself described them as "cinematic orchestral arrangements."

Strings and pedal steel, background singers merging with deft swelling horns, all merge in the sort of country-flavored polished pop that hasn't charted for decades.

"Tucson Train" isn't set in our city itself. Springsteen evokes a tale of a man in recovery, waiting for his baby to arrive on a train from Tucson — perhaps in vain.

  • I got so down and out in Frisco
  • Tired of the pills and the rain
  • I picked up, headed for sunshine
  • I left a good thing behind
  • Seemed all of our love was in vain
  • My baby's coming in on the Tucson train
  • I come here lookin' for a new life
  • One I wouldn't have to explain
  • To that voice that keeps me awake at night
  • When a little peace would make everything right
  • If I could just turn off my brain
  • Now my baby's coming in on the Tucson train
  • We fought hard over nothin'
  • We fought till nothin' remained
  • I've carried that nothin' for a long time
  • Now I carry my operator's license
  • And spend my day just runnin' this crane
  • My baby's coming in on the Tucson train
  • Hard work'll clear your mind and body
  • The hard sun will burn out the pain
  • If they're lookin' for me, tell 'em buddy
  • I'm waitin' down at the station
  • Just prayin' to the five-fifteen
  • I'll wait all God's creation
  • Just to show her a man can change
  • Now my baby's coming in on the Tucson train
  • On the Tucson train
  • On the Tucson train
  • Waitin' on the five-fifteen
  • Here she comes
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