When Commuting Was Deemed Oh-So Sexy

It was 28 years ago this month that train commuting made an unlikely appearance on the pop charts. Yes, Scottish chanteuse Sheena Easton released the syrupy single “Morning Train (9 to 5),” which is all about the singer’s husband hopping the train to work every day and, as Wikipedia so glumly notes, “a woman who waits at home all day for her man to come home from work.”

Wikipedia also mentions that the song’s video featured England’s Bluebell Railway running between East and West Sussex.

The song was originally called “9 to 5”, but Easton’s management promptly changed the title, because a certain ageless American country singer with large bosoms had just released a pop song by that name.

A sample verse:

All day I think of him, dreamin’ of him constantly
I’m crazy mad for him, and he’s crazy mad for me
When he steps off that train, I’m makin’ a fool, a fight
Work all day to earn his pay, so we can play all night

(One assumes the man does his sleeping on said train.)

In the 28 years since “Morning Train” rose up the charts, few songs have rivalled it for overall cheesiness and just downright badness. The Starship’s “We Built This City” certainly deserves a mention, as does Deniece Williams’ ’84 pop confection “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” and most any offering from the Wang Chung oeuvre.

Here’s the link to Sheena Easton “performing” her hit on Solid Gold. It is delicious in every way: Easton’s rhinestoned sweater and blatant cameltoe. Her stagecraft calling to mind Al Gore at a rave. The giant disco ball hovering over her head, threatening to come crashing down on Easton for all the world to see. (You’re not alone if you find yourself muttering “Please fall! Please fall!”).

Yup, slow day at Trainjotting today.

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