Southern California environment news and trends

Song of the Week: "Last Train," for BNSF, UP, NRDC

Molly Peterson/KPCC

"Last Train" is an Allen Toussaint song from his 1975 concept album, Southern Nights. Allen Toussaint is a dapper, classy New Orleanian. (Even his Katrina-evacuation was classy. He spent it in the Crowne Plaza.) In a wide world of train songs, I chose Toussaint's song to go with this week's resurgence of interest in railyard air pollution. 

Last train running between the waters with the power line

Last train running around the hill

Last train leaving on the quarter out of time

Last chance to get your last trip

In "Last Train" the New Orleans legend compares himself to a train, trying to keep going. Toussaint wrote and produced successful songs for, um, everyone in town, and then worked with The Band, Lee Dorsey, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton. Like a lot of New Orleans guys, they love sampling him in the hip-hop world.