This slow, poetic song about taking a long time to leave by train is enhanced with flute, piano and guitar. Lyrics describe visual details of two lovers parting.

With slow-paced, dramatic music, the lyrics describe a scene that is much like a movie, of two lovers saying goodbye. “He stares to see her somber face grow smaller…” shows the listener what the young man sees as the train pulls out of the station. Recorded in 1989 with old-fashioned Ampex 456 tape, the flute was performed by Yvonne LaParl and piano was performed by Karen Loffler McLaren. The train whistle at the end of the song was created with a wooden train whistle, then slowed down and lowered in pitch in the studio.

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The Long Goodbye

words and music by Paige Powell                         © 1987 Paige E. Powell

1. A cautious kiss upon his cheek
Mumbling and shuffled feet
Promises and a stuttered “farewell”
He slowly steps up on the train
Turns to look back once again
She smiles — then sounds the bell

Bridge: A dual shout of “All aboard”
To passengers who can’t afford
The time to say “goodbye” to ones they love

2. The train moves out a crawling pace
He stares to see her somber face
Grow smaller with each moment passing by
It seems like hours since her kiss
But still, she stands so motionless
Except for the one hand that waves goodbye

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