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"Freight" is a musical number in Act 1. It introduces the Freight train.

Context

Rusty is told by Control to fetch the Freight train, in order to assemble all the characters so the racing engines can choose their race partners. As the Freight train arrives, the Coaches taunt and tease them, while Rusty switches between the two trains to try to avoid chaos. Control calls order, and the Freight trucks introduce themselves in turn: The Box Cars, the Rockies, who are boxers; Flat-Top the graffiti-covered punk brick truck; sweet, shy, large Dustin who would rather avoid the limelight; and the bright, seemingly helpful Red Caboose.

History

In the original production, Greaseball pulled the Coaches while Rusty was shunting the Freight. In the 1987 Broadway re-writes Greaseball was removed from the number, leaving all the work to Rusty. The 1993 Las Vegas show edited out a few repeated lines to shorten the number. The 1992 London revisions removed Caboose from the show and therefore this number.

In 2003, the US Tour had significant rewrites by David Yazbek throughout the show, including changing the Rockies to Hip Hoppers. Initially to be in keeping with this new identity, the Hoppers' solo in Freight was re-written to a rap, as were Flat-Top's and Dustin's to match the style. However these alterations were reversed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the Hoppers went on to use a slightly altered version of the original Rockies' lyrics.

The Broadway, German, and Japan/Australia tours all initially ran with four Rockies, requiring slight lyric changes. The German show lost Rocky 4 by 1990.

Lyrics

Original London Lyrics

FREIGHT: Freight is great
Freight is great
We carry weight
Cause we are freight
And freight is Great
Freight is great
Freight is great
We never sulk
We hulk the bulk
And freight is great
We never make a fuss
You got the goods on us
We take the loads
From off the roads
And Freight is Great
COACHES: Couldn't stand gravel and sand
Being ignored, no one on board
Nobody complaining we were late again
I should hate carrying freight
Nobody living in me
Got to be a living breathing passenger train!
FREIGHT: Freight is Great
Freight is Great
FREIGHT: COACHES:
Freight Couldn't stand gravel and sand
Being ignored, no one on board
Is Great Nobody complaining we were late again
We carry weight I should hate carrying freight
Nobody living in me
And Freight is Great Got to be a living breathing passenger train!
FREIGHT: COACHES: It's Mamas and Papas
It's commerce and hoppers
It's daughters and sons
It's quarters and tons
They get in your hair
It's the fun of the fair
Freight
Folks
Tares
Fares
Passengers, commuters and mail
Trees and meat
Gravel and Shale
FREIGHT & COACHES: Are great, are great,
Are great, are great,
Are Great...

Original London Introduction Lyrics

CONTROL: Control. Control.
Coaches and trucks stop this dispute!
Stop this dispute!
Trucks will identify for selection grid.
Box Cars.
ROCKY 1: I'm Rocky, there's lots like me
ROCKY 2: I'm Rocky 2
ROCKY 3: I'm Rocky 3
ROCKIES: The only time we get sick inside
Is when some bum hitches a ride
We wait for a sharp corner to come
Then open the door - bye-bye bum!
FREIGHT: Freight is great!
CONTROL: Brick Truck.
FLAT-TOP: Flat-Top, you you looking at?
Yeah they're bricks, what's wrong with that?
No, you're right, they don't all match.
Yeah they're heavy. Here - Catch!
FREIGHT: Freight is Great!
CONTROL: Aggregate Hopper!
CABOOSE: Dustin, that's you!
CONTROL: Come on!! Aggregate Hopper!
CABOOSE: C'mon, Dustin!
DUSTIN: I'm the big hopper, I'm not a box
ROCKIES: Yeah, your head is full of rocks!
DUSTIN: They're not rocks they're aggregates
And aggregates are really great!
FLAT-TOP & DUSTIN: Aggregates are really great
Aggregates never complain
Bricks and mortar are thicker than water
It's great to be an aggregate train!
CONTROL: The Red Caboose
CABOOSE: At the back
On every piece of track
I'm right behind you -
If I can be of help at all
Then simply call
On me
FREIGHT: Hello, CB!
CABOOSE: Hello!
The Red Caboose
Would like to be of use
To every truck, and show the world that
FREIGHT: Freight is Great
Freight is Great


Broadway Introduction Lyrics

The 1987 Broadway production added Rocky 4, and so revised the Rockies' introductions.

ROCKY 1: I'm Rocky, I got no Equal,
If you missed me, catch the sequel!
ROCKY 2: I'm Rocky 2, and there's more -
ROCKY 3: I'm Rocky 3,
ROCKY 4: I'm Rocky 4!

Revised London Introduction Lyrics

The later London show, without Caboose, re-wrote the lyrics to cover his absence without changing the music.

FLAT-TOP & DUSTIN: Travelling with gravel in
Praying that we don't get wet
Water and mortar do things they didn't oughta
Empty me before I set!
FREIGHT: (to Caboose's melody) Down the track
From A to B and back
We carry things, not people
People talk a lot
That isn't what
We like
COACHES: They're strong and silent!
FREIGHT: None of us
May be a genius
but we know one thing, what we know is:
Freight is Great!
Freight_-_London_1993_Audio

Freight - London 1993 Audio

Freight - London 1992 - Caboose cut version. Audio only.

2017 London Workshop Introduction Lyrics

The 2017 workshop brought a new introduction for Caboose. Musically, it uses a swung version of the melody for Caboose's act 2 solo, "Wide Smile".

CABOOSE: Who makes trains brake? The Red Caboose!
Nice guy? Oh my, fake news!
If the brake engages, you'll be slowing.
If you pay my wages, you'll keep going.
No cash? Train crash! Big mistake.
FREIGHT: Red Caboose, we could use one big break.

2018 Bochum Caboose Introduction Lyrics

CABOOSE: Wer bremst Züge? Das macht Caboose
Fair play? Oh ne! Fake news!
Ziehe ich die Bremse an, bleibst du stehen.
Wenn du zahlst was ich verlang, darfst du gehen.
Ich brems alle aus, oder auch nicht!
Ich mache ein Geschäft daraus!
FREIGHT: Fracht CABOOSE:
Jeder zahlt meinen Preis
Ist Macht!
Fracht
Und er bleibt auf dem Gleis!
Ist Macht!


2018 Bochum Caboose Introduction Translation

CABOOSE: Who makes trains brake? The Red Caboose!
Fair play? No way! Fake news!
If my brake engages, you'll be slowing,
If you pay what I demand, you can go!
I slow them all down - or do I?
I make a business and I thrive!
FREIGHT: Freight CABOOSE:
Everyone pays me back!
Is Great!
Freight
And they stay on the tracks!
Is Great!

Bochum Lyrics

The Coaches' dialogue is translated from the later London version, and was added to the German production during the 1990s.

DINAH: Ach nee!
BUFFY: Oh Schreck!
PEARL: Der Frachtzug!
ASHLEY: Auch das noch...
BUFFY: Vierzig Tonnen leerer Stahl,
DINAH: Sind innen hohl
ASHLEY: Und außen kahl!
FRACHT: Fracht! Ist Macht!
Fracht! Ist Macht!
Wir tragen Fracht, bei Tag und Nacht,
Denn Fracht! Ist Macht!
Die Güter bringt die Fracht,
Dafür sind wir gemacht.
Wir haben Kraft und tragen Last,
Denn Fracht! Ist Macht!
COACHES: Wir mögen nicht, zu viel Gewicht
Von Kies und Sand, sind unbekannt
Und niemand beschwert sich:
"Wir kamen viel zu spät!"
Güterzug ist nie genug, nichts was lebt und sich bewegt,
Menschen sind es, was man als Personenzug braucht!
FRACHT: Fracht! Ist Macht!
Fracht! Ist Macht!
Fracht! Ist Macht!
FRACHT: Fracht COACHES: Wir mögen nicht, zu viel Gewicht
Von Kies und Sand, sind unbekannt
Ist Macht Und niemand beschwert sich:
"Wir kamen viel zu spät!"
Wir tragen Fracht, Güterzug ist nie genug,
Nichts was lebt und sich bewegt,
Denn Fracht! Ist Macht! Menschen sind es, was man als Personenzug braucht!
Für Große und Kleine!
Für Kohle und Steine!
Für Alt und Jung!
Für Kilo und Pfund!
Mal hoch, mal tief!
Für den Spaß und Tarif
Fracht!
Volk!
Schwer!
Schnell!
Menschen und Pendler und Post
Stahl und Holz, Kies und Koks
ALL: Sind Macht, sind Macht, sind Macht,
Sind Macht, sind Macht...
CONTROL: Güterwagond und Personenzüge:
Hört auf damit! Die Waggons sollen sich vorstellen: Kastenwagen!
ROCKY 1: Ich bin Rocky, ich bin der Größte, wer mich verpasst, der nimmt den Nächsten
ROCKY 2: Bin Rocky 2, wer seid ihr?
ROCKY 3: Bin Rocky 3
ROCKY 4: Bin Rocky 4
(or)
ROCKY 2: Bin Rocky 2, wer bist du?
ROCKY 3: Bin Rocky 3, gehör' auch dazu!
(or)
HIP HOPPER 1: Bin Hip Hopper 1, ich bin der Größte, wer mich verpasst, der nimmt den Nächsten
HIP HOPPER 2: Bin Hip Hopper 2, wer bist du?
HIP HOPPER 3: Bin Hip Hopper 3, gehör' auch dazu!
ROCKIES/HOPPERS: Und wenn ein Schwarzfahrer mit uns fährt,
Dann ist bei uns etwas verkehrt!
Wenn wir mal scharf in die Kurve geh'n,
Dann kriegt er 'nen Tritt: auf Wiederseh'n!
ALL: Fracht! Ist Macht!
CONTROL: Steinwaggon!
FLAT-TOP: Flat-Top, warum guckt ihr so?
Steine sind halt mein Niveau!
Ja, sie sind sehr schmal und lang
Und echt schwer, hier - fang!
ALL: Fracht! Ist Macht!
CONTROL: Eisenwaggon!
CABOOSE: Dustin, das bist du!
CONTROL: Na los, Dustin!
FLAT-TOP: Na mach schon!
DUSTIN: Ich bin Big Hopper, ich bin kein Pott.
HIP HOPPERS: Doch, dein Kopf ist voller Schrott!
DUSTIN: Das ist kein Schrott, das ist doch Eisen,
Eisen hat ein Recht zu reisen!
FLAT-TOP & DUSTIN: Reisen tut dem Eisen gut,
Wird es nass, missfällt uns das!
Rosten die Pfosten, kann und das was kosten,
Leer macht es mir noch mehr Spaß.
CONTROL: Bremswagon!
CABOOSE: Ganz am Schluss
Der Bahn ist Red Caboose.
Ich folge dir,
Auf jeder Fahrt bin ich dir nah,
Bin immer für dich da!
ALL: Hallo, Caboose!
CABOOSE: Hallo!
Ich bin Caboose.
Und wenn du mich mal suchst,
Dann schau' dich um
Und du wirst seh'n, die-
ALL: Fracht! Ist Macht!

Gallery

Trivia

"Freight" is given the alternate title "Freight is Great" in both the programme for the 2009 New Zealand tour and the score for the officially-licensed version of the show.

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