The Marrakesh Express

Ever since i first heard this song back in 1969 I have always dreamt about taking a ride on this train. Back then i used my imagination as Graham Nash sang the words ”  we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express……..They’re taking me to Marrakesh”

I could imagine all those animals and people crammed together, the noise and smell of the carriage…….. I just wish that i could go back in time and have the same sensation. Never mind though as there is nothing to do about it and better late than never…….. in a couple of days it will be my turn to ride The Marrakesh Express…… just 44 years after the song was written.

Nash recalled his inspiration for the song occurring during a Moroccan vacation he took in 1966. On the trip, Nash traveled by train from Casablanca to Marrakesh. He began the journey in First Class, surrounded by people he found to be uninteresting—as he described it, they were all “ladies with blue hair.” He decided the compartment was “completely fucking boring,” so left his seat to explore the other train carriages, and was fascinated by what he saw.

The song mentions “ducks and pigs and chickens,” which he saw on the train, and recalled the ride by commenting: “It’s literally the song as it is—what happened to me.”

The first public appearance of “Marrakesh Express” was at the Woodstock Music Festival. Between 3 am and 4 am on August 18, 1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young came together as a band for the second time in public and performed a set that included what Graham Nash called “a medley of our hit,” referring to this song, the first single from their debut album.

Boarding the Marrakesh Express in Casablanca
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The Marrakesh Express Lyrics by Crosby, Stills and Nash

Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes

Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue

Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
Had to get away to see what we could find
Hope the days that lie ahead
Bring us back to where they’ve led
Listen not to what’s been said to you

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All aboard the train, all aboard the train

I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair

Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my mouth
Colored cottons hang in the air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped djellebas we can wear at home Well, let me hear you now

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board the train, all on board the train
All on board

 

To read more about   Marrakesh Express click Here

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