MURRY: The way I understand it, Rhett initially thought the phrase would make a great t-shirt and wanted to write a song to back up that idea. This may be my favorite number on the record, pure 60’s, I like to think of it as Monkees-from-Hell. Plus, I love how my band, when we get “Beatle-y” we don’t go after some White Album-ish flavor that so many bands do, no, we go after Help! and Rubber Soul. Way to go Rhett.

MARIE: In contrast to the measured pace of “Brown Haired Daughter,” “I’m a Trainwreck” soars full tilt down the tracks with abandon. Anyone who’s had the good fortune to see this performed live knows how hard this rocks. With the rhythm line rolling along behind Ken’s crunchy guitar licks and lyrics like:

You wonder what’s in store
you’re gonna waltz across the floor
we’re gonna wind up in a heap
we’re gonna laugh ourselves to sleep
I say I love you, what the heck
I’m a trainwreck

How could it not become an anthem for all of us (w)reckless ne’er-do-wells who can’t get enough of this magnificent band of musical brothers. Put on your party dress, girls and let it all hang out. What the heck. This album is definitely our reward at the end of the working week.

STEPHANIE: As I listened to “I’m A Trainwreck” for the first time, I wondered if this song told the second half of the “Brown Haired Daughter” story. Maybe not, but I’m going to run with this theory for a minute. In most tales of forbidden love, the story ends when the couple runs away together. What happens next? In Hollywood, a terrible sequel. On TGTV2, we get “a mess” and “a freak” who choose to own their flawed existence and have fun together.

I’m a trainwreck
I’m a mess
But I’m gonna take you dancing
Put on your party dress

The title may not suggest happily-ever-after, but the lyrics offer a more reasonable approach towards domestic bliss.

You wonder what’s the deal?
You’ve gotta fake it til it’s real
There is no benefit to doubt
You’ve got to let it all hang out
I say I love you, what the heck
I’m a trainwreck

JEFF: The problem with going last on these song-a-day threads is quickly becoming apparent: the ladies (and Murry!) are hard acts to follow. “I’m a Trainwreck” is classic Old 97’s through-and-through. With a trademark Philip shuffle and a signature bratty guitar lick from Ken, it’s a confident second track. Two songs in and you’ve got to be pretty pleased with the album so far.

Song-a-Day Countdown Table of Contents