Friday, September 2, 2011

Rail Forum Takes The Fun Out of The New Fountains of Wayne Record

Fountains of Wayne have a new record, and on that record is a song called "Acela." It's a number about a dude, his girlfriend who stood him up, and a train. Because the song is titled after and features the Acela Express, a discussion thread developed about it on Rail Forum. The comments on the thread take the fun out of the song. Here is a sample:
I get the impression from the song that, while its lyricist may have ridden the Acela once or twice, he doesn't really understand much about how train travel works. For one thing, if all the protagonist wants to do is to get back to New York, why is he riding all the way to Boston? Why didn't he just get off the train at Stamford, or New Haven, or wherever? It seems to me that the lyricist is making the common mistake of thinking of train travel as being like air travel, and forgetting that the train makes intermediate stops. Or maybe he's assuming that you're somehow not allowed to get off the train at a stop earlier than the one you're ticketed for.
From this mirthful point the thread continues into an earnest discussion of what, exactly, were the ham and eggs on the Chattanooga Choo Choo. I'm happy people care about these things so dearly, but they take the fun out of a Fountains of Wayne song, which is pretty hard to do. For good measure, here's Harry Nilsson singing about the state of US railroads in the early 1970s:

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