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"Starlight Express", the title song from the musical, is the closing number for Act one. Rusty sings alone on a darkened, empty stage.


Context Edit

After the chaos of Laughing Stock, in which every character is onstage, either supporting or disparaging Rusty, he is left on his own to try to summon the courage to follow through with his promise to race in Poppa's place. Poppa has such faith in The Starlight Express, but Rusty is unsure, and sings this number outlining his worries.

The song has been re-worked a few times, each time getting shorter and simpler. There are three distinct versions, the original London having verses starting "When your Good-nights Have Been Said", the Broadway version verses having a different melody and starting "When the Night is Darkest", and the third being a shortened version of the Original London version, without the mid-8 section.

Music Edit

We first hear the "Starlight Express" melody during the overture, as the lullaby sung by Control's mother, and sung by Poppa (and Belle) to try to encourage Rusty to step up and race. The melody becomes more significant as a victory theme in act two.

In the original London recording, there is a large cut between the Starlight Express intro and the song "Starlight Express", leading to some confusion over the running order of the show. Within this cut material is two races and "Laughing Stock", but the cut is edited so smoothly that there is no apparent jump.


LyricsEdit

Original London VersionEdit

Rusty: When you good nights have been said
And you are lying in bed
With the covers pulled up tight
And though you count every sheep
You get the feeling that sleep
Is going to stay away tonight.
That's when you hear it coming
That is when you hear the humming of the
midnight train, here again,
Can't explain that midnight train, that midnight train!
Starlight Express, you must confess,
Are you real, yes or no?
Starlight Express, answer me yes.
I don't want you to go.
Want you to take me away
But bring me back before daylight
And in the time between
Take me to everywhere
But don't abandon me there
Just want to say I've been.
I believe in you completely
Though I may be dreaming sweetly
I can hear the train, here again.
Can't explain that midnight train, that midnight train!
Starlight Express, you must confess,
Are you real, yes or no?
Starlight Express, answer me yes
I don't want you to go
Starlight Express, answer me yes
I don't want you to go
Starlight Express, you must confess,
Are you real, yes or no?
Starlight Express, answer me yes
I don't want you to go.

1987 Revised Broadway LyricsEdit

Rusty: When the night is darkest, open up your mind
What can you see? Is it getting clearer
Listen to the distance, listen and you'll find
The midnight train is getting nearer
Starlight Express, Starlight Express
Are you real? Yes or no?
Starlight Express, answer me yes
I don't want you to go
Show me all the places I have never been
But bring me home safely before I wake up
I don't want to stay there, just to say I've been
Take me with you through the night, but get me back before daylight
Starlight Express, Starlight Express
Are you real? Yes or no?
Starlight Express, please answer me yes
I don't want you to go
And if you're there, and if you know,
Then show me which way I must go?
Starlight Express, Starlight Express
Are you real? Yes or no?
Starlight Express, please answer me yes
I don't want you to go<
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
Are you real, are you near?
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
I need you to be here!

1988 German LyricsEdit

Rusty: Wird es um mich dunkel, wird es in mir still
seh' ich ein Licht leuten in der Ferne.
Und hör' ich den Nachtzug, der mich holen will,
dann folge ich dem Zug der Sterne.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Sag' es mir.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich brauche dich jetzt und wünsch' mit, du wärst hier.
Nimm mich mit und zeig' mir, was ich noch nie sah,
bring' mich zurück, ich will dort nicht bleiben
und wenn ich erwache, weiß ich, du warst da,
ich gehe mit dir durch die Nacht, komm' wieder, eh' der Tag erwacht!
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Sag' es mir!
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich brauche dich jetzt und wünsch' mir, du wärst hier.
Wenn es dich gibt, dann zeige mir den Weg,
damit ich nicht verlier',
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Holst du mich?
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
du weißt, ich brauche dich.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Sag' es mir.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich bitt' dich komm' zu mir.

2013 Revised German LyricsEdit

Rusty: Der Mond wirft Schatten auf's Dach,
du liegst im Bett und bist wach,
endlos langsam fließt die Zeit.
Du zählst das hundertste Schaf,
doch findest nicht in den Schlaf
und starrst nur in die Dunkelheit.
Dann fühlst du ihn erscheinen,
den du schon so oft sahst in deinen Träumen:
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
Wo bist du? Sag' es mir.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich brauche dich jetzt und wünsch' mir, du wärst hier.
Trag mich ins Weltall hinaus,
doch bring' mich wieder nach Hause
bevor der Tag erwacht.
Flieg' mit mir himmelweit fort,
aber verlass' mich nicht dort,
bleib bei mir in der Nacht!
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
Wo bist du? Sag' es mir.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich brauche dich jetzt und wünsch' mir, du wärst hier.
Wenn es dich gibt, dann zeige mir den Weg,
damit ich nicht verlier'!
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Holst du mich?
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
du weißt, ich brauche dich.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
wo bist du? Sag' es mir.
Starlight Express, Starlight Express,
ich bitt' dich komm' zu mir.

Gallery Edit

Video Edit

Ray Shell - Starlight Express (from Starlight Express with lyrics)03:08

Ray Shell - Starlight Express (from Starlight Express with lyrics)

AUDIO: Ray Shell sings the title song from the 1984 Original Cast recording.

Australia Tour03:54

Australia Tour

AUDIO: Bobby Collins sings the title song from the 1987 Japan/Australia cast album.

StEx TdoT 2007 - Jamie Golding - Starlight Express03:54

StEx TdoT 2007 - Jamie Golding - Starlight Express

Jamie Golding singing the original German version of "Starlight Express"

Starlight Express- Starlight Express - Kristofer Harding 201303:15

Starlight Express- Starlight Express - Kristofer Harding 2013

Kristofer Harding, 2012/13 UK/Asia Tour, singing the shortened version of the original song.

Boyband Version Edit

For the German show's 15th Anniversary, the current Rusty and his understudies formed a "Rusty Boyband" and released a pop arrangement of the title song.

Starlight Express (Boy Band Version)03:40

Starlight Express (Boy Band Version)

Audio - Starlight Express Boyband version.

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