There are several references to trains and heaven in music. Perhaps the most popular is Curtis Mayfield’s sixties classic People Get Ready that has been covered by hundreds of artists, not the least of whom are Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart. Brad Paisley wrote Life’s Railway To Heaven which has also been recorded by many artists including Johnny Cash and Sheryl Crow.
People get ready, there’s a train comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
You don’t need no ticket you just thank the lord
– Curtis Mayfield
Well those who tend to these heavenly locomotives may want to be vigilant, maybe even throw on a few more security angels (The Guardian Angels work on subways, so they may fit the bill here as well) as Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has departed this world. They say crime doesn’t pay, but here’s a guy who lived to his mid-eighties and seemed to keep healthy by flaunting his freedom after escaping from prison. Wikipedia lists his occupation as ‘carpenter, thief’. He was a character indeed and did eventually return to Britain from South America to serve out his time. He was released on compassionate grounds when diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
As you roll across the trestle
Spanning Jordan’s swelling tide
You behold the Union Depot
Into which your train will glide
– Brad Paisley