“Trains in the Night” is Francis McGrath’s second album, released in 2019.
Available Online at
Liner NotesHere are the liner notes for those of you who are listening to the album via streaming.
Listen to the album
About the Trains
The twelve songs on “Trains in the Night” were composed and performed over recordings made by Peter Handford that appear on the album “Trains in the Night: Sounds of the Steam Age”. I found the original recordings had a musical quality before I ever played a note. You can hear the original recordings on Spotify.
About the Radio Shows
As Paul Simon said, “Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance, everybody thinks it’s true.” As a kid lying in bed, I loved listening to trains in the distance. Similarly, I used a radio my grandfather (Mr. Robinson) gave me to listen to vintage radio shows when I was supposed to be asleep. After scouring hundreds of hours of public domain radio shows, I found clips from 18 different shows and used them on the track “Voices in the Night”.Here is a list and transcript of all the shows that were used.
Additionally, I found a wonderful pilot for a reality, radio show called “Train Time” that I used on “Destinations”. Give it a listen.
Passing notions wash over us at night
Without criticism, without cynicism
Daytime routines are nocturnal comforts,
Like re-watching Casablanca
There are no destined nations
Different destinations – one procession
Different rhythms – one harmony
The same tracks still pass Walden Pond
We can simplify or watch life fly-by:
Passed-over people, disconnected.
Grounded to our homes, grounded to the sea:
Our beds rock with the ocean waves.
*This poem appeared in the 2019 issue of di-vêrsé-city, the anthology for the Austin International Poetry Festival.
- Nesting – Score for Flute and Two Synthesizers
- Suite For The Working Man – Full Orchestra Score in C
- Where Did John Coltrane – Jazz Chart