The song was penned by Turner himself. This track is a bit more personal for the country icon as he shares one of the darkest sides of being human and how he overcame it.
What was Josh Turner’s inspiration for the song?
We all know that Josh Turner is a big fan of country legend, Hank Williams so when Josh heard the song “The Devil’s Train,” he was inspired to write something based on it.
He explained to USA Weekend Magazine how he came up with the song:
“It’s probably the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had writing a song. I’ve always been a fan of Hank Williams. I’ve been mystified by his life. Long Black Train was inspired by a vision that I had of a long, black train running down this track way out in the middle of nowhere. I could see people standing out to the sides of this track watching this train go by. As I was walking, experiencing this vision, I kept asking myself, ‘What does this vision mean and what is this train?’ It dawned on me that this train was a physical metaphor for temptation.
Well I can hear the whistle from a mile away
It sounds so good
But I must stay away
That train is a beauty making everybody stare
But its only destination is the middle of nowhere
Sometimes there are songs that will make you ask the question ‘What does it mean?’ This is one of those songs. Josh Turner makes a very good analogy of taking the train as a temptation to do a bad deed.
The singer also said that he envisioned the train to be a metaphor for temptation, with the engineer symbolizing Satan. The train and whistle represent how we are always tempted to do evil things, but we must resist.
Listen to the song and see if you can understand the meaning behind it here: