The night train rolled on through the mist and the snow
All freewheels on fire running to the dawn below
Tracks squeaking in the moisture of the night’s frozen air
Never knowing if or when its load will make it there
A bleeding cargo of bodies thrown away in the war
Between good and evil and the window and the door
The night train makes music that we’ve never heard
Whistles of boxcars, steam dreams and an unspoken word.
When the sun was last seen it slid down the sky
Where moonlit graveyards welcome everything that dies
Bound by the ties of the heart and of the mind
People like you and I don’t care to leave things behind
Walking in a river of crushed spirits and broken bones
Pales in comparison to the way that time moans
As it slams like a broken shutter in the wind
And a steel-trap door in the floor that calls you a friend.
Midnight serenades about lost loves and hearts
Rips the world in unison like paper in a spark
Or like a showdown in the park and a victory in the dark
Tales of the departed and the arriving fall apart
Leaving all hopes twisted and tattered like the cloth
That a banshee made of paper in the wind took off
An upside down vision as surreal and bizarre
As an arrow in the moon and a bullet on a star.
The sign on the outskirts of town once read,
“Take away all your living and leave me the dead,
Burn down all the fences and paint the town red
With blood and with desire then put a knife in your head.”
I laid the blade in the dust and let time do its work
Its dirty deeds of malevolence that leave everyone hurt
Buried in the sand like the shores at high tide
All that I forgotten has shriveled up and died.
On the hill at the valley stands a wandering soul
Looking down into nothing where everything is cold
Searchers and drifters and wanderers and warriors
And singers and poets and dreamers and lawyers
Politicians and bureaucrats and cops and crooks
Leap through the darkness like demons in books
With a back to the horizon and his eyes on the pit
The Troubadour raises his pitchfork and spits.
Carry the wounded on gargoyle wings
Ransack and plunder the vaults of the kings
Who stole from the poor to feed only the rich
Take their golden shovels and dig them a ditch
And cast every stone of their kingdom into the dirt
Let them all remember the spirits they have hurt
If you can hear the footsteps somewhere through the breeze
You will see the survivors emerge from the seas.
Now one last demand as the kingdom is spent
Return all the spoils that the villager sent
Then journey back to the beginning of an unknown land
Put your feet in the mud and cut blood from your hand
Then watch as the sands of time drip away
Morning to twilight, night time to the day
Let darkness descend and let daylight ascend
For time is never and forever until you reach the end.