Song Saturday: “Big City Train”

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For this week’s edition of Song Saturday, we’re looking back at a classic old school track that transitioned a few times over the years and was including on No Doubt’s debut album, “Big City Train”.

A song that is said to be heavily influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Big City Train” features writing credits for Eric Stefani, Tony, Gwen and Tom and was written prior to 1989. The song made it’s debut, first titled “Big City”, during club shows and their debut appearance on Ska Parade. An earlier version of the song featured “Big City” in 5/4 time with slightly different lyrics. Eric commented that the band was experimenting with different tempos for the song.

The “Big City Train” demo was produced and recorded in 1991 with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and appeared on an early tape as well as later unofficial bootlegs such as Disneyland Demos and Weenie Roast ’96 in the mid 1990s.

Eric Stefani animated a music video for “Big City Train” but it has yet to be released.

No Doubt continued to perform “Big City Train” live up until 1992-1993. The band is said to have considered the song “dated” and stopped playing it shortly after their debut album was released. No Doubt performed the song live during their television debut on The Gig, which aired on Public Access TV in San Pedro, California in 1990.


“Big City” (Early version in 5/4 time on Ska Parade 1989)


“Big City” (Live in 1989)


“Big City Train” (Demo)


“Big City Train” (Live on The Gig 1990)


“Big City Train” (Live in 1991)

“Big City Train” lyrics

Can you hear that whistle?
Loud clackety-clack
Well it’s calling to me
The station is where it’s at

It’s coming again now
Chuggin’ down that track
Just check your records
Got all my bags packed

You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
Come get me, take me, to the land where my dreams come true
You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
Come get me, take me, to the land where my dreams come true

This time I’ll board that train
It won’t be long
Check the label on my baggage
Destination in my song
Talk to the conductor
Ooh, I save my fare
Yakety-yak for a while

CHOO CHOO!
CHOO CHOO!

You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
Come get me, take me, to the land where my dreams come true
You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come
Come get me, come take me
You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
I said come get me, take me, to the land where your dreams come true I said
I’m waiting, I’m waiting
Come get me, come take me to the land where my dreams come

Smokestack train is back
That smash attack

Hurry, grab my luggage
Hurry, grab my bags
It seems the locomotive
Has taken another track

A penny brought by mischief
A penny, form of cash
Has been brough up to the railway
We are destined to be a smash!
A smash! Woo!

You will always find me waiting for that train to come through
Come get me, take me, to the land where my dreams come true
Always find me waiting for that train to come
Come get me, come take me
You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through

Wrongful manners, tickets for two
I’m waiting for it to show
Ah na na na na na na oh woh woh woh

You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
Come get me, come take me
You’ll always find me waiting for that train to come through
I said come get me, take me, to the land where your dreams come true I said
Ah then you’ll always find me, ah then you’ll always find me

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh I said
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oh oh oh oh
Ah wrongful manner na na na na na na…

4 Replies to “Song Saturday: “Big City Train””

  1. way back in 2009 ppl were saying that this song was going to be the single for no doubt’s come back so i played it for months till i liked it

  2. I never got into this song. Actually, I was never that crazy about their debut album in general, but I do like most of the live versions of the songs like Let’s Get Back, Sinking or Get On The Ball.

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