September 7th – Maria Muldaur – Waitin’ For The Train To Come In

For an (almost) one hit wonder, Maria Muldaur has had one hell of a career. The hits were:

  • that one in which she urged her paramour to put his camel to bed, the better that they could make the most of the late hour, and
  • a cover of the Peggy Lee hit I’m A Woman.

Nearly thirty years later, after a string of LPs exploring folk, blues, pop, jazz and much in between, she returned to Lee’s catalogue for her 2003 album A Woman Alone With The Blues.

Waitin’ For The Train To Come In was written by Martin Block (the original ‘disc jockey’) and Sunny ‘Besame Mucho’ Skylar.  Published in 1945, the song ostensibly refers to a lonely young woman waiting for her GI lover to return from the war.  Lee’s sultry interpretation leaves the listener in no doubt as to what exactly she has missed most while her man was busy fighting for his country.  Kitty Kallen’s rival version (with Harry James) was cast in a far more innocent mode.  I’ll leave you to guess who had the bigger hit. 

It’s not difficult. 

What Jo Stafford and Perry Como did with it on The Chesterfield Supper Club one can only imagine.

Muldaur share’s Lee’s ability to bring a carnal edge to the most apparently innocuous material and she’s more than up to the subtext here.