Marrakesh Express ~ Crosby Stills and Nash

Initially formed by the trio of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, the genesis of the group lies in two 1960s rock bands, The Byrds and The Hollies, and the demise of a third, Buffalo Springfield. Friction existed between David Crosby and his bandmates in the Byrds, and he was dismissed from the Byrds in the fall of 1967.

By early 1968, Buffalo Springfield had also disintegrated over personal issues, and after aiding in putting together the band’s final album, Stephen Stills found himself unemployed by the summer. He and Crosby began meeting informally and jamming, the results of one encounter in Florida on Crosby’s schooner being the song “Wooden Ships,” composed in collaboration with another guest, Paul Kantner.

Graham Nash had been introduced to Crosby when the Byrds had toured the UK in 1966, and when the Hollies ventured to California in 1968, Nash resumed his acquaintance with Crosby. At a party, Nash asked Stills and Crosby to repeat their performance of a new song by Stills, “You Don’t Have To Cry,” with Nash improvising a second harmony part. The vocals gelled, and the three realized that they had a unique vocal chemistry.

Creatively frustrated with the Hollies, Nash decided to quit and throw his lot in with Crosby and Stills.

Marrakesh Express

Marrakesh Express” is a popular song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, released on their 1969 self-titled debut album. It was written by Graham Nash. Nash had originally intended to record the song with his group The Hollies, but that group refused to record the song.

The Marrakesh Express was a popular route for traveling hippies during the mid-to-late 1960s who sought out the Moroccan city of Marrakesh for its mythical Arabic appearance, and maybe for its renowned hashish.

James Michener wrote “The Drifters” based on six young people who tour Europe and Africa in 1969 and end up in Marrakesh.  The book is a must read.

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Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes,
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks, and pigs, and chickens call,
animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue.
Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind,
Had to get away to see what we could find.
Hope the days that lie ahead
bring us back to where they’ve led
listen not to what’s been said to you.

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express.
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express,
they’re taking me to Marrakesh.
All aboard the train.
All aboard the train.

I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there.
I smell the garden in your hair.
Take the train from Casablanca going south,
blowing smoke rings from the corners of my m m m m mouth.
Colored cottons hang in the air,
charming cobras in the square.
Striped djellebas we can wear at home.
Well, let me hear ya now.

Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express.
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express,
they’re taking me to Marrakesh.
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express.
Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express,
they’re taking me to Marrakesh.
All on board the train,
All on board the train,
All on board!

(405)

About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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