What does Stop This Train mean?

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John Mayer: Stop This Train Meaning

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Stop This Train Lyrics

No I'm not color blind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but...
I just can't sleep on this tonight
Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 11th 2018 report

    “Train” is a metaphor for your own awareness or self perception traveling on a track, a fixed path that takes turns, ups and down, moves exclusively in one direction. As the passenger on this train and the actual observer of time passing, life seems to move fast, your parents are there for awhile and then gone, John is over whelmed by this “speed” of all of this and contemplates, why he can’t simply stop and get off, is there another way? distressed he consults his Father who says essentially when you get to his own advanced age you’ll start to bargain for a revaluation of your perceptions of time. This contemplation contrasts John’s initial more superficial rationalizations that his life has just begun after playing the “numbers game”. John’s father says that he’s “tried his hand” you can’t slow this train, no one can, he warns John not to waste the place he’s in and savior the experience, there will be time for sorrow later on when these dark moments of thought have passed but the reality and finality of death actually comes. John realizes this is all correct, he realizes the times when you’re safe, when things are as they should be you’d never want to trade this temporary experience, he never wants this train to stop.

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 12th 2012 report

    I think the song is about the fear of death, fear of the unknown.

    "No, I'm not color blind
    I know the world is black and white
    I try to keep an open mind
    But I just can't sleep on this, tonight"
    - John sees that the world is black and white = full of cheerful and sad moments (people coming to this world and passing away at the same time). He tries to stay open minded - think about positives, realize that death is a normal part of life here on earth - normal, not bad, so it shouldn't be "black", but maybe of a sad color (as the rest of life should be colorful, not b&w :) ).


    "Stop this train
    I want to get off and go home again"
    - I think this part is about going "home" - childhood stable home, where everything was certain, and every child was thinking about what's going to be for dessert, not about dying and how many years they had left here on earth..


    "Don't know how else to say it
    I don't want to see my parents go
    One generation's length away
    From fighting life out on my own"
    - Parents go = pass away. It's about only one generation separating John from being seriously on his own... And that generation is just "length away" from dying..

    "Had a talk with my old man
    Said, "Help me understand"
    He said, "Turn sixty-eight
    You'll renegotiate"
    - That's interesting, maybe John talked to his father when he was 18? :) And actually really leaving for college, as someone proposed?

    "Don't stop this train
    Don't for a minute change the place you're in
    And don't think I couldn't ever understand
    I tried my hand
    John, honestly, we'll never stop this train"
    - Father tells him, that in time he will understand the life and it's cycle. Also he tells him to live the best of life and never regret what moment of life he's in.

    "See once in a while when it's good
    It'll feel like it should
    And they're all still around
    And you're still safe and sound
    And you don't miss a thing
    'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark."
    - If you don't cry, but cope with the fact that we all are born and have to die, you will be happy. You will feel like your family is still around, you will feel safe, and also you will live the best of your life = not miss anything.
    The last sentence with the refrain is a condition - what you mustn't do to achieve a piece of mind.
    "'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark signing "stop this train, i wanna get off and go home again (...)"

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 9th 2022 report

    The way I see it the song is about living life and time in general. You cannot stop the time you're living in, it's always moving forward.

    "Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again, I can't take the speed it's moving in, I know I can't, but, honestly, won't someone stop this train?"

    He wants everything to stop and back to childhood where everything was good, it's about not wanting to move forward to the next step of life because you can't take everything that comes at you. You can't take the hit of responsibilities that hit you like an avalanche, for example, finishing university, getting and living with your new job (most of the time a job you don't even like at all), starting a family, losing family, friends, or your dearest ones.

    You don't realise that you're getting older and you're losing things that you love and life is getting harder for you. Sometimes you feel like your world is falling apart because you can't adjust to the speed of everything that comes at you. You always hope that you can just stop the time or get into a time machine and live life when it's good and when everyone's still around, all over again. He knows that he cannot stop it but he always wishes for it hence "but, honestly, won't someone stop this train?".

    Then he talks with his old man about life, and his old man said basically when you're older you'll rethink that life must go on. And he's been there before of not wanting everything to move on, but saying we can't stop the time and everything must go on. And then, in the end, he writes that realisation that we cannot stop the stages of life, and try to accept it.

    I really like this song, probably my most fav of John Mayer, ever, it means a lot to me. Back when it was released, I was in my teenage years and had been listening to this on repeat. As I get older I didn't realise how this song really speaks of the reality I'm living in. Now I'm almost 30 I often wish that everything can stop and I can go back and do it all over again. I'm not yet in the state of being able to accept it and move on.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 19th 2020 report

    This song makes Me think of a saying I heard a while back, basically goes like this: Reflect on Yesterday, Relish Today, because tomorrow May Never come. I can remember when I was Young and didn’t think about getting old. It seems so long ago now that I’m in My late 50’s. I find Myself giving advice and direction to the Youth. And asking People My age, Are You doing what You Love or Just doing to Survive? But Mostly, I find Myself understanding And Paying More Attention to My Elders. Realizing I am not that far away from their age group. I told My Friends at our 35 year High School Reunion, We are Closer to our Death Date, then our Birth Date. So I am going to close with this; If You don’t have “Love in Your Life,” You probably don’t understand what “Love Your Life” means...

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 1st 2014 report

    I believe that train is a metaphor fot growing up and getting old and death. Stop this train I want to get off and go home again. I won't to get off the train I want to stay young.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 23rd 2012 report

    It's about the fear of going to college.
    you can tell because when you step on to that "train",plane, car, etc, you "don't want to see your parents go."

    Also, college is when you start to "fight life out on [your/] my own."

    most of it is about the fear on college so moving on

    "See once in a while when it's good
    It'll feel like it should
    And they're all still around
    And you're still safe and sound
    And you don't miss a thing
    Til you cry driving away into the dark."

    why the train shouldn't be stop. Even though its going to be hard, its going to be good if you stay optimistic about it instead of being depressed which leads to "driving away into the dark."


    No wonder this is JM favorite Albums, it's full of meaningful songs the build up life.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 23rd 2012 report

    This is a train to life metaphor. Basically about how life is a rollercoaster ride.


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