Debate Magazine

Captain Beefheart - Bat Chain Puller

Posted on the 10 August 2012 by Mikeb302000
A bat chain refers to the chain that hangs down from a signal post on a train line. The signal device that was pulled down was called a bat and different bats had different colours to signal the train driver as to the condition of the track ahead, or whether the train could proceed,etc.

The bat chain puller was the person who set the signals for the approaching train according to track status reports received by telegraph.

The song BCP probably metaphorically refers to the fact that this job is obsolete in the world of train spotters in this automated world.

Read more:

Bat chain
Bat chain puller
Puller, puller
A chain with yellow lights
That glistens like oil beads
On its slick smooth trunk
That trails behind on tracks, and thumps
A wing hangs limp and retreats
Bat chain puller
Puller puller
Bulbs shoot from its snoot
And vanish into darkness
It whistles like a root snatched from dry earth
Sodbustin' rakes with gray dust claws
Announces its coming in the morning
This train with gray tubes
That houses people's very thoughts and belongings.
Bat chain puller
Puller puller
This train with gray tubes that houses people's thoughts,
Their very remains and belongings.
A gray cloth patch
Caught with four threads
In the hollow wind of its stacks
Ripples felt fades and gray sparks clacks,
Lunging the cushioned thickets.
Pumpkins span the hills
With orange crayola patches.
Green inflated trees
Balloon up into marshmallow soot
That walks away in forty circles,
Caught in gray blisters
With twinkling lights and green sashes
Pulled by rubber dolphins with gold yawning mouths
That blister and break in agony
In souls of rust
They kill gold sawdust into dust.
Bat chain puller,
Puller puller.

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