Train Running Low on Soul Coal

(Partridge)

#\#i#/#The Big Express#\#/i#/#

The Big Express

Recordings
XTCfans interview with Andy Partridge
XTCfans interview with Dave Gregory
Art
Annotated Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 5'06.
    Released on The Big Express.

  2. Acoustic version.
    Recorded live in July 1983 in a park in Swindon.
    Broadcast as part of XTC Play At Home on 16 October 1984 on Channel 4 (C4).
    Not commercially released.

  3. Demo version, 4'12.
    Released on 7 July 2003 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Three in the U.K.

    Andy: “He's got his Linn drum cocked and his beta blocked, his wallpaper flocked and his tudor mocked. Got a full head of steam for this hiss off demo. Piston broke as the postcard once said.”

Art

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/r5tnqDfOZtk" target="churl"#/#“Train Running Low on Soul Coal” acoustic in Swindon, from #\#i#/#XTC Play at Home#\#/i#/#, Channel 4, 1983#\#/a#/#

“Train Running Low on Soul Coal” acoustic in Swindon, from XTC Play at Home, Channel 4, 1983

#\#a href="video/TrainAc.avi" target="churl"#/##\#i#/#XTC Play at Home#\#/i#/# contains an acoustic jam of “Train Running Low on Soul Coal” performed by Dave and Andy in a park setting.#\#/a#/#

XTC Play at Home contains an acoustic jam of “Train Running Low on Soul Coal” performed by Dave and Andy in a park setting.

 

Lyrics

Notes

Phil Hetherington: “A Sprinter is also a train, but a modern one this time. They'd have been brand new when the album came out, they're short (usually two-coach) diesel units and are, incidently, incredibly bad. Some of them are not much more than rail-mounted busses.”

Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no
They shouldn't do that

Me train running low on dream steam
They pull me whistle too hard me bound to scream
And they shouldn't do that no no no
They shouldn't do that

Think I'm going south for the winter
Think I'm going mad in this hinterland
Between young and old
I'm a thirty year old puppy doing what I'm told
And I'm told there's no more coal
For the older engines
Me train running low on soul coal

Think I'm going south for the winter
Think I'm going west and my sprinter's speed
Is reduced to a crawl
My rails went straight, but straight into the wall
It's the wall on which they dash the older engines

And all my servants are leaving
Imagination gone packing
Can't find the wound from where I'm bleeding
He's just a nut and he's cracking

Hammer goes down
Brakes all scream
Me and a couple of empty carriages
Slide down hill still
Next stop bad dreamsville

Think I'm going south for the winter
Me train running low on soul coal.

© 1984 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 00:59:10 -0700
From: hbmus047 (at) email dot csun dot edu (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Train Running Low On Soul Coal TAB
Message-Id: <199609270800.BAA18273 (at) sgi dot sgi dot com>


TRAIN RUNNING LOW ON SOUL COAL

        Ah, one of my favorite XTC songs.  It illicits such imagery like
big snowy mountains with huge steam engines careening around them only to
be smashed at the end of the line.  It's great to crank it in the car and
wail along with Andy only to find my voice missing when the album's over.

        Since the production is so reverbery, it's hard to tell what's
going on ALL the time; and who knows what those angry electric guitar stabs
are anyway?!

Please note the "open E" tuning

A train running low on soul coal, you push pull...

E------3-3-3-3-3-3-3----3-3-3-3-3-3----------------|
B------3-3-3-5-3-3-3----3-3-3-5-3-3----------------|
G#-----3-5-3-5-3-5-3----3-5-3-5-3-5----------------|
E------3-5-3-3-3-5-3----3-5-3-3-3-5----------------|
B--------------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------------|
     +   .   .   .    +   .   .   .   +

E-----------------------|
B-----------------------|
G#----------------------|   (bass part you may want to tuck in)
E-----------------------|
B----2-----4------------|
E------3-4--------------|
     +   .

     "think I'm going south for the   winter...

E----0--------------------------------0------------------|
B----0--------------------------------0------------------|
G#---1--------------------------------0------------------|
E----0--------------------------------0------------------|
B----3--------------------------------0------------------|
E----0--------------------------------0------------------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +

E--------------------------------------------------|
B--------------------------------------------------|
G#-----------0------------0------------------------|
E--------0------------0----------------------------|
B----4-----------2------------0---u----------------|  "u" = bend up & down
E---------------------------------3---0------------|
     +   .   .   .    +   .   .   .   +

       "think I'm going mad in this...

E----0--------------------------------|
B----0--------------------------------|
G#---1--------------------------------|
E----0--------------------------------|
B----3--------------------------------|
E----2--------------------------------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .

    hinterland ..... young and.......30 year old...  what I'm told...

E----0----------------0---------------0---------------0---------------|
B----0----------------0---------------0---------------0---------------|
G#---0----------------0---------------0---------------0---------------|
E----0----------------0---------------0---------------0---------------|
B----4----------------3---------------2---------------1---------------|
E----0----------------0---------------0---------------0---------------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +

I'm told there's.....coal.....older

E----0----------------5-------5-------|
B----1----------------5-------5-------|
G#---1----------------5-------5-------|
E----0----------------5-------5-------|
B----1----------------5-------5-------|
E----X----------------5-------7-------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .

     engines"
E------3-3-3-3-3-3-3----3-3-3-3-3-3----------------|
B------3-3-3-5-3-3-3----3-3-3-5-3-3----------------|
G#-----3-5-3-5-3-5-3----3-5-3-5-3-5----------------|
E------3-5-3-3-3-5-3----3-5-3-3-3-5----------------|
B--------------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------------|
     +   .   .   .    +   .   .   .   +

repeat previous stuff

BRIDGE   (there's some doubt on this stuff)

                            And all my
    nation gone packing...can't find the

E----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
B----5---5---6---6---5----------------|
G#---5---6---6---6---5----------------|
E----7---7---7---7---7----------------|
B----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
E----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
     +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .

  servants are leaving           imagi-
  wound from where I'm...   He's just a

E----5---5---5---5---0----------------|
B----5---5---6---6---0----------------|
G#---5---6---6---6---0----------------|
E----7---7---7---7---0----------------|
B----5---5---5---5---0----------------|
E----5---5---5---5---0----------------|  (repeat)
     +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .

    nut and he's cracking

E----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
B----5---5---6---6---5----------------|
G#---5---6---6---6---5----------------|
E----7---7---7---7---7----------------|
B----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
E----5---5---5---5---5----------------|
     +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .

  hammer goes down    brakes all..   me and a couple of
E---3----------------2---------------1-------------------|
B---3----------------2---------------1-------------------|
G#--3----------------3---------------3-------------------|
E---3----------------2---------------1-------------------|
B---3----------------2---------------1-------------------|
E---3----------------2---------------1-------------------|
     +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +

   empty        carraiges
E-------------------------------------|
B----3-------5---3--------------------|
G#-----------------------4---3--------|
E-------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------|
     +   .   .   .   +   .   .   .

   slide down hill        still           next stop bad
E----5----------------5---------------6------------------|
B----6----------------6---------------6------------------|
G#---7----------------6---------------6------------------|
E----5----------------5---------------4------------------|
B----6----------------6---------------6------------------|
E----5----------------5---------------5------------------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .

    dreams   -      ville
E----6----------------3----------------------------------|
B----6----------------5----------------------------------|
G#---7----------------4----------------------------------|
E----4----------------3----------------------------------|
B----6----------------5----------------------------------|
E----5----------------X----------------------------------|
     +   .   +   .    +   .   +   .   +   .   +   .   +

(massive guitar destruction then ensues)

in addition to this figure...

E------3-3-3-3-3-3-3----3-3-3-3-3-3----------------|
B------3-3-3-5-3-3-3----3-3-3-5-3-3----------------|
G#-----3-5-3-5-3-5-3----3-5-3-5-3-5----------------|
E------3-5-3-3-3-5-3----3-5-3-3-3-5----------------|
B--------------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------------|
     +   .   .   .    +   .   .   .   +

you could slide up to

E---6-------------------|
B---6-------------------|
G#--6-------------------|
E---6-------------------|
B---6-------------------|
E---6-------------------|

for a few strokes during the guitar solo.

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