The Train from Kansas City - the Shangri-Las
So this time we're waiting for a train FROM Kansas - or at least our fiance is, and you see she's just had a letter from the guy who was her first love and you see he went away and she hadn't heard from in years when she met you see and now he's coming back see and ....." we're off on one of producer Shadow Morton's mini rock opera's. To cut a long story short, he's coming home and she's going to to the station to meet the guy and tell him in person that she's engaged to you. The song is saying " don't worry, I still love you and I'll be back, you can trust me". But can you?
It's not one of the great Shangri-Las dramas like "Leader of the Pack" or "Give us your Blessings" so why's it such a great track? It's not only me that thinks so, my daughters all do and so do their friends, and so do their friends.
Could it be the train noises, or the piano which simulates the train junction joins as it approaches the station, or is it the great drumming that drives the song along, every second phrase like the burst from a machine gun? Or is it the fabulous climax as the dreaded moment comes and the train arrives at the station, breaks and all? Or is it the underlying tension that she might not be telling the truth or might change her mind - is she going to fall for the guy after all? And leave you for him?
Or maybe it's the great line by songwriters Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry:
"I'll be back in the time it takes to break a heart".