Midnight Train to Georgia – The Harvard Lampoon

Harvard College World Travel Guide

| Issue Editor: MMM '20 | Art Editor: MAK '21

Midnight Train to Georgia

  JLG '21

So, Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & The Pips used to be my favorite song. Then I took an actual midnight train to Georgia and it was nothing like the song. The lyrics don’t even make sense to me anymore but I can’t really remember them because I left my iPod Touch at home.

LYRICS:

L.A. proved too much for the man,

Okay so already this is inaccurate. L.A. was underwhelming at best. I took the train because of the song. And I’m a woman. Naao just kidding but how feminist would that be.

so he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know,

I had not come to know any life. I flew to L.A. from my hometown, Georgia, strictly to take this train.

he said he’s goin’ back to find

ooh, what’s left of his world,

the world he left behind

not so long ago.

I did not say anything like this. I forgot to buy my train ticket and it was a genuine mistake but the ticket checker was angry anyway because I pretended to be asleep the whole time he talked to me. Then I got busted because there was a lady on the seat next to me who told the conductor that she saw me just five seconds ago playing Roblox on my iPod Touch.

he’s leaving,

on that midnight train to georgia,

and he’s goin’ back

to a simpler place and time.

and i’ll be with him

on that midnight train to georgia,

i’d rather live in his world

That’s when I realized I didn’t leave my iPod Touch at home at all. It was right in front of me and I was playing Roblox on it. So I said to the ticket checker and the woman (unrelated but seriously why insert yourself into this situation lady?) okay listen I will play you the song on my iPod Touch and you will understand why I am on this train.

than live without him in mine.

he kept dreamin’

that someday he’d be a star.

To clarify I pretended I was sleep-talking when I said that to them.

but he sure found out the hard way

that dreams don’t always come true.

so he pawned all his hopes

and he even sold his old car

So I showed them the song and they were like. This song is just kind of the same stuff over and over again. I guess it has a catchy melody but I don’t understand why you would fly out of Georgia just to go back to Georgia because of this song. And I said no you don’t understand how important Gladys Knight & The Pips are to me. And also I am from Georgia the country not the U.S. state. And they both said ok well you still have to pay for a ticket. And I said lady why do you keep getting involved. You have no right to tell me to pay for a ticket. The ticket checker guy does but you are just a person sitting next to me.

bought a one way ticket

to the life he once knew,

oh yes he did,

he said he would

be leavin

on that midnight train to georgia,

That’s when the train police came and got involved. And they said that the lady next to me was actually an undercover train police officer. And I was like no way okay my mistake. And they all said sir you need to pay for a ticket right now or we’ll have to kick you off at the next stop at 3:00. And I was like wait is this not the midnight train? And they were like we don’t have trains that go from L.A. to Georgia at midnight. So now I’m so confused because is the song even real? So I tell the train police that I blew all my money on the round trip Georgia-LAX plane ticket. And then they’re like wait you’re flying out of L.A. to get back to Georgia the country? How are you going to get back to L.A.? And now I feel like a total idiot so I just fess up and admit I’ve been fake-sleeping the whole time. This does not happen to the man in the song. So I said please all I have is this iPod Touch can I please pay with this. So they exchange this knowing look with each other and slowly put their guns back in their holsters and take my iPod Touch. When they walk away I realize I totally had Apple Pay set up on my iPod and I’m like you idiot Jeremy. Why do you do this to yourself?

and he’s goin’ back

to a simpler place and time.

and i’ll be with him

on that midnight train to georgia,

i’d rather live in his world

than live without him in mine.

So I figure I may as well enjoy the rest of this train ride. I want to start singing the lyrics to my favorite song, Midnight Train to Georgia, but I don’t want to be rude to the lady sitting next to me. But then I realize she totally lied earlier when she didn’t tell me she was an undercover train cop. I guess she never explicitly lied but I personally consider lies by omission the same as regular lies. So I just start singing it as loud as I can, “L.A. proved too much for the man, so he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know,” and suddenly everyone on the train is looking at me weird. The train cops put their hands on their gun holsters. I’m like well Jer you have nothing to lose at this point so I stand up and shout, “he said he’s goin’ back to find, ooh, what’s left of his world, the world he left behind, not so long ago.” And people are like sit down this is the quiet car. And I’m like quiet car?? That is NOT in the song. So I grab the lady next to me by the hand and spin her around and do a romantic dip move and sing, “he’s leaving, on that midnight train to georgia,” and she does some martial arts self defense move and just clobbers me in the nuts, seriously felt like they got twisted up really bad. But I can’t give up at this point because the song is stuck in my head and if you don’t finish the song it will stay stuck in your head until you do. So at this point I’m bellowing through tears “and he’s goin’ back, to a simpler place and time. and i’ll be with him on that midnight train to georgia, i’d rather live in his world, than live without him in mine. he kept dreamin’, that someday he’d be a star.” There’s a baby crying now and the cops are actively yelling at me. And I’m like please please stop your yelling and your crying. This is the quiet car. And I am trying to sing. “but he sure found out the hard way, that dreams don’t always come true.” Boy, was that true. “so he pawned all his hopes, and he even sold his old car” So then I’m like wait a second. Maybe the car is a metaphor for my iPod Touch. And maybe the hopes are also a metaphor for that iPod Touch. And then I’m like hold up, I did leave my world behind in a way, if my world is a metaphor for my testicles being in the proper orientation. I’m like hold up this is beautiful. So I start crying and suddenly the whole train is singing along with me. And everyone is locking arms and swaying and some people are even waving lighters around. And I’m like, this is what the song’s about, you know. It’s about 30 people coming together on a train.

go, gonna board, gonna board,

gonna board the midnight train.

gotta go, gonna board

gonna board

gonna board the midnight train

(repeat, fade)

But then I remember they don’t have midnight trains to Georgia. So the song is horse shit.