Starlight Express the Musical Wiki

To open Act Two, all the characters face off over who races with who, who will win the prize of the Silver Dollar/The Race.


When Starlight Express came to Broadway, "The Rap" was replaced with a song called "Hymn to the Silver Dollar", later re-titled to "Hymn to Victory." It includes "Pearl Twirl" which in other productions can be considered a standalone scene.

This number consists of a number of sections:

  • An orchestral Entr'acte - a more standard overture style medley of themes used in the show;
  • A full ensemble argument that bears similarities to the earlier Rap number, with various characters taking solos and arguing over who races with who;
  • An announcement by Control;
  • "Pearl Twirl" is incorporated in the number;
  • "Hymn", a reprise of the engines' confrontation in "Coda Freight".

Different productions used a variety of these elements to open Act Two.

"Silver Dollar", Broadway 1987

"Hymn to the Silver Dollar" was written for the Broadway production to underline the significance of The Silver Dollar, the prize that the engines raced for. Later in the Broadway run, The Silver Dollar concept was cut and the engines once again raced for the title of the Championship Engine of the World. "Hymn to the Silver Dollar" was rewritten to "Hymn to Victory."

Other productions that include "Hymn to Victory" are the 1987 Japanese/Australian Tour, and the Bochum production.

Broadway - Argument, Control, Hymn, Pearl Twirl

Japan/Australia - Pearl Twirl, Hymn, Control

Bochum - Entr'Acte, Argument, Control, Pearl Twirl, Hymn


Broadway Argument

COMPONENTS: I name Electra the favorite,
GANG: Anyone can win it but a steam train,
COACHES: I'd have to go for the diesel,
RUSTY: Pearl would come back if I can win the dollar,
RED CABOOSE: Just call on me, if I can help I will.
ELECTRA: Look at the champion, stuck without Dinah.
You oughta go and get some new wheels.
GREASEBALL: You wanna see a fast worker?
There's not a coach here wouldn't go with me.
ROCKY: Except for Pearl,
ROCKY 2: You couldn't get Pearl,
GREASEBALL: You think I couldn't?
Just watch me.
I hear that you're a transformer,
ELECTRA: All you diesel engines talk so crude,
DINAH: Greaseball stop it!
ELECTRA: You can't have Pearl!


CONTROL: We are in the final minutes
Before the countdown to the great race
On this night of nights!
The race across America which will decide
Who is the fastest locomotive in the world!
A very short time from now
We will know who will carry
The Silver Dollar into the record books.
Does everyone have their partner?
You don't have a partner,
You can't dance.

Pearl's Twirl

GREASEBALL: So what you say then, Pearl?
You wanna try a whirl?
You hear me knocking.
PEARL: Knock, knock,
GREASEBALL: Who's there?
PEARL: Pearl.
GREASEBALL: Pearl who?
PEARL: Pearl-ease can I go with you?
GREASEBALL: You hear me knocking,
PEARL: I hear you, You're knocking, it's shocking!
DINAH: I hope you're satisfied with what you've done!
You could've had your choice and took my only one.
PEARL: Hey come on Dinah, it's only fun,
So quit crying, quit crying.
GREASEBALL: I'm pumping iron!


ELECTRA: Clear my track! I'm gonna win it!
GREASEBALL: I'm gonna beat you, I'm gonna win!
COACHES/FREIGHT: Gonna be there, gonna be there,
ENGINES: Rain... storm...
Gonna be in it, gonna be in it. wind... sun...
Running the race running the race. I'll be there,
I'm gonna win it or I'll get a place. number one!
Gonna be there, gonna be there, Rain... storm...
I'm gonna win it, I'm gonna win it. wind... sun...
I'm gonna win the race... I'll be there,
I'll be victorious I'm gonna win! number one!
COACHES: We're going for greatness, Power
FREIGHT: We've had it with lateness,
COACHES: To fail to be first, Glory
FREIGHT: Is no better than worst
Who cares if you're fast... Power
COACHES: You're first or you're last!
FREIGHT: First Glory
ALL: Power,
I'll be victorious... I'm gonna win.
I'm gonna win. I'll be victorious.
I'll be victorious. I'm gonna win!
I'm gonna win!
I'm gonna win, gonna win, gonna win!
CONTROL: The countdown has begun!
Snap it up Dinah, you’ll be late for dinner...