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March 7th 2008: Ticket to Slide riseandshine.tv/2008/03/07/ticket-to-slide/

Today’s inspiration comes from the tale of the Indonesian railway sprayers, whose job it is to deter would-be riders on the train roofs by soaking them in food colouring. The combination of a train song with Indonesian tuned percussion seemed inevitable.

The song is a jaunty but harrowing tale of poverty, injury and despair.


I'm on the train, I'm on my way
I get up early every day
Get on the train two minutes late
And I'm losing half a day's pay
Oh, I got I a job, I'm building
Skyscrapers the American way
Mmm, my lovely woman, my children
Ain't gonna go hungry today

We're on the train, there ain't no room
So I got to get up on the roof
It isn't nice, we hold on tight
It's dangerous, but what can you do?
Mmm, I gets in my job
Skyscrapers the American way
Oh my lovely wife, my children
Ain't gonna go hungry today

I'm on the train, I'm coming home
So tired, I been working all day
And once again, I'm up on the roof
My eyes are stinging and I'm afraid
Oh, I can't hold on, I'm slipping
I'm falling off and hitting the track
Oh, and now my legs ain't moving
I think I may have broken my back

And lying here, I miss my wife
I'm cold and tired, covered in spray
And wondering when, or if I will walk again,
or does it end this way?
I once had a job, a job building
Skyscrapers the American way...
And a lovely wife, and children
I used to love watching them play


from Rise and Shine: Breakfast with Inspiration, track released March 20, 2009
Written and performed by Dean Whitbread, soaked to the skin by the Rise and Shine train inspectors.

Produced by Dean Whitbread.


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