Music Box: This Train Don’t Stop

Sure, Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” has some of the most cringe-inducing lyrics of the year. I mean, here’s a sample:

You gave my life direction, a game show love connection we can’t deny
I’m so obsessed, my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you, like a virgin, you’re Madonna, and I’m always gonna wanna blow your mind

If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the first line of each chorus, which sings, “Hey soul sister, ain’t that Mister Mister on the radio…?” No, really.

But, as someone who is not ashamed to declare their song “Drops Of Jupiter” a veritable classic (and named it his favorite song of 2001), who am I to judge what moves people? Perchance Pat Monahan’s been listening to way too much Jason Mraz lately, but, hey, if it works for Mr. A to Z, why not Train? And come on!  Monahan’s accompanied by a ukulele! A UKULELE! How do you NOT love a ukulele?

But, I feel I’m skewering off topic, so let’s just chuck “Hey Soul Sister” as yet another indelible, pop-culture phenomenon in their canon and forge ahead.

Love Train or loathe them, you’d have to be a soul-free, deadened automaton not to delight in the sheer cheesy, unmitigated joy of this video, performed by the students of Canada’s University Of Victoria (UVic). As a steadicam sojourns throughout the campus in a non-interrupted flow, the students and faculty at UVic redefines the archetype for “school spirit” as I’ve never seen before. It’s awkward, exhilarating, joyous and silly, and even perhaps a bit too lengthy. And it makes me smile for 6.5 glorious minutes.

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