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"Engine of Love" is the oldest song in Starlight Express, written in 1977, but not incorporated into the show until the Broadway production in 1987.

Context

Greaseball and his Gang have just finished their ode to Rolling Stock, when Rusty is heard in the distance, bringing with him the passenger coaches. Together they sing "Engine of Love", a fun, up-beat number about the power of steam.

When used, "Engine of Love" is usually the third track and the second major song in the show. In the original West End production, "Call Me Rusty" was the second major song and the melody of "Engine of Love" was used for Pearl's pop number, "He Whistled at Me". The London show imported some of the Broadway revisions in 1988, including "Engine of Love" and "Make Up My Heart ". In the major 1992 revision, "Engine of Love was replaced by "Crazy" and its melody was once again used for Pearl's number in "He'll Whistle At Me", a dreamy ballad rendition of "He Whistled At Me".

History

Original 1977 Concept Recording Version

"Engine of "Love" is the oldest song in Starlight Express, having been written in 1977 as a concept recording to promote Andrew Lloyd Webber's idea of doing a musical with trains. It was first heard in Starlight Express on Broadway in 1987.

As a child, Webber read The Railway Series (otherwise known as the Thomas the Tank Engine books) by The Rev. W. Awdry and his son Christopher Awdry and retained such an affection for the books that he called one of his companies The Really Useful Company after the really useful engines in the stories. In 1973, Webber approached Awdry with a proposal for a musical television series of The Railway Series. Awdry declined, feeling that Webber would give more than what The Railway Series was supposed to give.

Three years later, Webber started working on a project of a Cinderella story using trains and proposed to release an album called "Soul Train." The release of the album turned out to be "Engine of Love" and "Steaming" sung by Earl Jordan and the Steam Team. Earl Jordan had an unusual talent of singing three notes at the same time, making it sound like a train whistle. The music was composed by Webber and the lyrics were written by Peter Reeves.

Broadway Version

When Starlight Express came to Broadway, Pearl's use of the melody in "He Whistled At Me" was replaced by "Make Up My Heart" and "Engine of Love" made its first appearance. It has been used for a majority of productions afterwards. The lyrics are by Richard Stilgoe. This version of the song appeared in the Japan/Australia Tours and in Bochum in full until 2003, when it was shortened; and cut entirely in 2008.

Alternative Version

An alternative version of "Engine of Love" first appeared on the Broadway album "Music & Songs from Starlight Express" and was sung by Peter Hewlett. The verses are completely different from those used in the 1977 concept recording and the 1987 Broadway version. This version was also heard in the Toronto Studio Recording (not a cast album), and the 1988 Bochum Cast Recording, although the German version uses the same lyrics used on the stage.

Video

Liebesexpress 198802:28

Liebesexpress 1988

"Liebesexpress", Bochum 1988

Liebesexpress 200202:36

Liebesexpress 2002

"Liebesexpress", Bochum 2002

Lyrics

1977 Original Concept Lyrics

Earl: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Steam Team: Engine of Love,
Take me with you baby
Just pull me along,
Right along the line.
Earl: Whoo-whoo!
Steam Team: Getting up steam!
Earl: Wheels squeal!
Steam Team: We're a mighty team!
Earl: Burn n' churn
Steam Team: You're a big machine
Gonna put a little rock in the rolling stock!
Earl: Hang on now baby!
Steam Team: There ain’t no power like the power of steam!
Earl: It’s got more drive than oil or gasoline.
More power than rocket fuel or electricity.
You want to feel it baby?
Take a ride with me now on the-
Steam Team: Steam Train!
Riding, riding, riding on the-
Steam Train!
Don’t go in no siding on the-
Steam Train!
See the world go gliding by the-
Steam Train!
Earl: No resistance,
To my pistons!
Steam Team: Engine of Love,
Take me with you baby!
Earl: Oh, baby!
Steam Team: Just pull me along!
Earl: Along!
Steam Team: Right along the line!
Cause you’re my
Engine of Love!
Earl: Sing it baby!
Steam Team: Thrill me with your motion.
Earl: Ah! Keep on the track now!
Steam Team: And I’ll follow you!
Your track can be mine!
Earl: WHOO-WHOO!
Steam Team: Riding, riding, riding, riding!
Earl: WHOO-WHOO!
Steam Team: Riding, riding, riding!
The sound of the mighty steam engine is something terrific!
Earl: Just think of the Big Boy on the Union Pacific!
Steam Team: Has a method of locomotion, it’s always scorned.
Earl: So don’t hear the tale baby, climb on board!
Steam Team: Engine of Love!
Earl: Whoo-whoo!
Steam Team: Take me with you baby!
Earl: Oh, baby!
Steam Team: Just pull me along!
Earl: AH! I’ll pull you honey!
Steam Team: Right along your line!
Cause you’re my
Earl & Steam Team: Engine of Love!
Steam Team: Thrill me with your motion.
Earl: Such emotion!
Steam Team: And I’ll follow you!
Earl: Sing it baby!
Steam Team: Your track can be mine!
Earl: AH!
Steam Team: Cause you’re my Engine of Love!
Earl: Whoo-whoo!
Steam Team: Take me with you baby!
Earl: Oh baby!
Steam Team: Just pull me along!
Earl: Pull you along!
Steam Team: Right along your line!
Earl: Along my line!
WHOOO! WHOO!
OW! WHOO-WHOO
Steam Team: Steam!

1987 Broadway Concept Album Lyrics

Coaches: Nobody can do it like a steam train!
Steam!
Nobody can do it like a steam train!
Steam!
Whoo-whoo!
Steam!
Whoo-whoo!
Steam power!
Whoo-whoo!
Steam!
Whoo-whoo!
Steam Power
Steam!
Rusty: Working in the yard burning all of my daylight
Working till it's time to play
Watching the clock till the time is my own now
Watch me, I'm a runaway!
Coaches: Engine of love, take me with you baby
Rusty: I'll take you along, right along the line
Coaches: Cause you’re my
Engine of love
Rusty: I'll thrill you with emotion.
If you'll follow me, your love can be mine
Coaches: Whoo-whoo!
Whoo-whoo!
Rusty: Heading for the coast, hey nobody can catch me
Won’t stop until I reach the sea
Nothing else will do, got to be with you now
Come and take a ride with me!
Coaches: Engine of love, take me with you baby
Rusty: I'll take you along, right along the line
Coaches: Cause you’re my
Engine of love
Rusty: I'll thrill you with emotion.
If you'll follow me, your love can be mine
Coaches: Steam!
Whoo-whoo! Whoo-whoo-whoo!
Steam!
Whoo-whoo!
Steam power!
Whoo-whoo-whoo!
Steam
Nobody can do it like a Whoo-whoo!
Engine of love, take me with you baby
Rusty: I'll take you along, right along the line
Coaches: Cause you’re my
Engine of love
Rusty: I'll thrill you with emotion.
If you'll follow me, your love can be mine
Coaches: Cause you’re my
Engine of love, take me with you baby
Rusty: I’ll take you along, take you right along my line.
Hey! Your love can be mine!
Coaches: Cause you’re my
Engine of love
Rusty: I'll thrill you with emotion.
If you'll follow me, your love can be mine
I wanna be your
Rusty & Coaches: Engine of love
Coaches: Take me with you baby
Rusty: I’ll take you along, take you right along my line.
Hey! Your love can be mine!

1987 Original Broadway Lyrics

Rusty & Coaches: Woo-woo, woo-woo!
Nobody can do it like a steam train!
Woo-woo, woo-woo!
Nobody can do it like a steam train
Coaches: There ain't no power like the power of steam
Rusty: You wanna feel it baby? Take a ride with me!
Coaches: Engine of love, take me with you baby
Rusty: I'll pull you along, right along the line
'Cause I'm your
Coaches: Engine of love
Rusty: I'll thrill you with my motion.
If you'll follow me, your track can be mine
Coaches: The sight of the mighty steam engine is something terrific
Rusty: Just remember the Big Boy on the Union Pacific
Coaches: Firebox hotter then the desert sand
Rusty: So why don't you come with me, right across the land!
Rusty & Coaches: Engine of love, take me with you baby
Just pull me along, right along the line
Rusty: 'Cause I'm your engine of love, I'll thrill you with my motion
Coaches: Such emotion
Rusty: If you'll follow me, your track can be mine
Rusty & Coaches: Woo-woo, woo-woo!
Nobody can do it like a steam train
Woo-woo, woo-woo!
Nobody can do it like a steam train!

1988 Original German Lyrics

Rusty: Wohwoo, wohwoo,
keiner kann es besser, als die Dampflok!
Gang: Das ist Rusty!
Zeig's ihm!
Gib's ihm!
Greaseball: Später!
Rusty & Coaches: Wohwoo, wohwoo,
keiner kann es besser, als die Dampflok!
Wohwoo, wohwoo,
keiner kann es besser, als die Dampflok!
Coaches: Die beste Zugkraft, ist die Zugkraft mit Dampf!
Rusty: Wenn du's erleben willst, komm' mit mir heut' Nacht!
Coaches: Liebesexpress, nimm' mich mit auf Reisen.
Rusty: Ich fahr' mit dir durch das ganze Land.
Ich bin dein
Rusty & Coaches: Liebesexpress
Rusty: Ich bring' dich in Bewegung.
Wenn du an mir hängst, geht die Fahrt ins Glück!
Coaches: Die Riesendampflok ist wahrlich ein mächtiger Anblick.
Rusty: Wie zum Beispiel der Big Boy von der Union Pacific
Coaches: Er ist heißer, als der Wüstensand
Rusty: Wenn du's erleben willst, komm' mit mir durch's Land!
Coaches: Liebesexpress, nimm mich mit auf Reisen!
Ich folge dir gern' durch das ganze Land!
Rusty: Ich bin dein Liebesexpress,
ich bring' dich in Bewegung
Coaches: in Bewegung.
Rusty: Wenn du an mir hängst, geht die Faht ins Glück.
Rusty & Coaches: Du bist mein Liebesexpress.
Nimm mich mit auf Reisen,
Ich folge dir gern durch das ganze Land.
Wohwoo, wohwoo,
keiner kann es besser, als die Dampflok!
Wohwoo, wohwoo,
keiner kann es besser, als die Dampflok!

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