LYRICS: Closure, come to find when given time, appropriate to fit the crime, patience to walk that line, to walk that line. The straight & narrow, assume as borrowed. The straight & narrow is soon to follow. Faith, remaining sane, it’s like waiting for the year to change, it’s like waiting for the midnight train. The straight & narrow, assume as borrowed. The straight & narrow is soon to follow.
INTERPRETATION: Thematically, Midnight Train concerns itself with concepts of Self-Identity & Operant Conditioning. It’s about the choices & behaviors we initiate as individuals, & then navigating through their corresponding consequences. It’s a song about outcomes, conclusions, & making decisions that will eventually yield results you can identify as positive or negative; specific correlations between cause & effect.
INSPIRATION: Midnight Train was written on a rainy Wednesday evening back in October of 2006. It was the 11th, to be exact. I recall this specifically because I had just returned from seeing Seattle folk rock pioneer Damien Jurado perform at The Earl in East Atlanta. He was on tour supporting his 6th studio LP And Now That I’m In Your Shadow, an album that would go on to influence the bulk of my songwriting for Shadowlands. Taking its cue from Jurado’s Denton, TX, the guitar is capoed high & exhibits a minimal song structure in regards to chording, progression, & melody.
INSIGHT: Of Shadowlands’ 16 tracks, Midnight Train was the first song written in addition to the first song recorded for the album. It’s also the opening track, as I’ve always been fond of openers that tow a more moderately subtle tone. There’s also a thematic irony about beginning an album with the word closure, within a song about conclusions. As opposed to my usual methodically tedious form of songwriting where instrumentation, lyrics, & melody are all constructed separately, Midnight Train was built abstractly, all parts written within one sitting via free association. I played & penned the parts as they came to me, letting the song write itself. Ultimately, I ended up using this subconscious way of songwriting for about half of the songs on Shadowlands, as it provided a nice change of pace from my more meticulous means.