Marrakesh Express (1969)

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Air your thoughts on this DNA Source Song™ or suggest another worthy of the designation at Rock Populi.

You get on a train in London in the Swingin’ mid-’60s, make a short stop in L.A. in ’68, then find yourself in pre-terrorist Morocco. Somehow Bogart comes along.

Take the train from Casablanca going South
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my mouth

The serene beauty of a train moving through open desert propelled by perfect harmonies and Steve Stills’ Country/Middle-Eastern guitar picking and writer Graham Nash’s easy rhythm guitar takes hold of the listener. There is a cinematic touch to it that is teased out by voices and light instrumentation. The lyrics are part National Geographic, part love song.

Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call, animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue [blue hair, that is]


Colored cottons hang in the air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped djellabas we can wear at home
Well, let me hear ya now

Some tender and lovely lines are scattered like bright birds scattered about a tiled city square in North Africa:

I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair

Young, free and in love on a train in an exotic country. Does it get much better?