Story Behind the Song: Josh Turner, ‘Long Black Train’
In May of 2003, Josh Turner released “Long Black Train” as the second single from his debut album of the same name. Written by Turner, the song spent more than 30 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking just outside the Top 10 (No. 13) in early 2004; in June of 2006, the tune was certified gold.
Below, Turner recalls why he was inspired to write “Long Black Train,” and why the song is special to him.
“Long Black Train” was inspired by a vision that I had of a long, black train running down this track way out in the middle of nowhere. I could see people standing out to the sides of this track watching this train go by.
As I was walking, experiencing this vision, I kept asking myself, “What does this vision mean, and what is this train?” It dawned on me that this train was a physical metaphor for temptation: These people are caught up in the decision of whether or not to go on this train. And this came about in a time of my life where I was trying to figure out who I was as an artist and as a person … I was trying to learn how to deal with the freedom that I had away from home for the first time.
“Long Black Train,” the song and the album, are very special to me. It was just one of those things that I felt like God gave to me for a purpose, and I’ve been out here promoting that purpose.