I might have seen God on a train. No, “seen” isn’t the right word. Touched? No, that’s not right either. I might have experienced God on a train. Or maybe it was just a dream. To this day, I am unsure.
Back in 2004, I was traveling overnight from Paris to Vienna, riding in a bunk-style sleeper car along with several strangers, all men. Oddly, I was much more worried about having my guitar or my passport stolen, than about other things a woman traveling alone and sharing a sleeper car with men might be worried about. To prevent my guitar being stolen, I positioned it next to the wall in my bunk, and lay down against it. Unsurprisingly, I didn't sleep well that night. I spent a lot of time in that in-between state, half awake, half asleep. The mind does strange things in such a state. And that’s when I either met God, or had the most amazing, revelatory dream. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, before or since. The song “Sign” was born of that experience.
I recorded the song with my (now defunct) band, cycle of addiction. On the album, I included an "angels mix", with the lead vocals stripped away to highlight the choral-style vocals (all mine). I'm sharing both versions here.
I also made a lo-fi solo recording of a piano version of the song in my living room, about 10 years ago. I don’t know why the audio is not properly synced with the video; it was all captured on the same device, but something happened when it got uploaded to YouTube.
I have a dream to one day record this song again, with a women’s choir backing it.
What if you got a sign?
You’re lying in a sleeper car late at night
Bunks above and below
full of strange men making sleepy noises
In your sleep you hold your passport tight
and your guitar is between you and the wall
and the train rumbles onward through the night
and the conductor is patrolling the hall
And suddenly you’re aware of the light
It’s pouring straight out of your chest
Your heart is burning, aching, expanding,
and bursting with inexplicable joy
There is no voice
There are no words to explain
but the message is perfectly clear:
He is here, He is here
He is here, and He’s always been here
And all that was lost has been found
and all that was missing is here
And in this moment of revelation
everything is perfectly clear
In the morning you wonder
Was it a sign or was it a dream?
Was it really a sign or was it just a dream
Was it just a dream, or should you believe?