Those clever fellows of Fountains of Wayne are at it again, a maximalist songwriting duo that finds the humor and the heart and, often, the heartbreak, in the most ordinary characters facing humdrum situations.
The new album (can we still call them “albums”?) has a track called “Acela,” and it’s about a guy and a girl who plan to bust out of their east coast city of residence, and make a new start in Boston. While Bruce and Wendy did the same on a motorcycle in “Born to Run,” the guy and the girl in “Acela” plan to do it in, yup, the high speed Amtrak train.
Only the girl doesn’t show.
The song starts:
There’s a train on a track
Painted silver, blue and black
Heading to Massachusetts
And then it’s coming back
And it’s entertaining by New Haven
Once you’ve had yourself a drink or two, ooh ooh
All alone on the Acela
Tell me baby, where the hell are you?
(Acela) Ooh ooh (Acela)
And here’s something funny: two different legit lyric sites offer up the following stanza:
And I looked at all the stars
I looked in huts and news
I searched for any sign of you
But you had not left any clues
Do you think maybe the real lyric is “Hudson News,” not “huts and news”? I sure do.
The official Fountains of Wayne site offers the lyrics, but the link to “Acela” “failed to open stream.”
That sort of stuff happens to the protagonists in their songs quite a bit.
A previous album, Welcome Interstate Managers, toyed with the concept of boozy commuting in the tune “Bright Future in Sales.”
Sleeping on a planter at the Port Authority
waiting for my bus to come.
Seven scotch and sodas at the office party
now I don’t remember where I’m from.
I think I had black wallet in my back pocket
with a bus ticket and a picture of my baby inside.
And if I make it home alive,
I’m gonna get my shit together
Cause I could live like this forever