Dust in the Wind

music musings, beaverdamusa.comYou know there are songs that can immediately transport us back in time the second you hear them.  Often, it takes you to a happy place such as the beach or maybe a particular relationship.  Today’s musing is about a song that takes me back several years to a very tragic event.  

Every time I hear Dust in the Wind by Kansas (1977), it reminds me of probably the only time my hometown of Waverly, TN made the evening news.  The date was February 24, 1978 which was the day a railroad propane tanker exploded in downtown Waverly, eventually killing 16 people, injuring hundreds more, and forever changing the lives of everyone in our town of 5,000.  It was the lead story on NBC’s Nightly News and John Chancellor uttered the words “there’s been a train explosion in Waverly, Tennessee.”

This year will make 40 years since the explosion.  Each year on February 24, I think about that day; however, I also think about it whenever I hear Dust in the Wind.  One of my good friends at the time was the son of the police chief.  The chief was one of the 16 killed.  I remember my friend had a Kansas concert shirt and Dust in the Wind was very popular at the time.  After the explosion, I thought the words were very poignant as the town attempted to recover.  There are friends who still carry the literal scars of that day.  More carried the emotional scars as they pushed through their new normal without spouses, children, parents, co-workers, or friends.  For years, people around Waverly would flinch whenever they heard a helicopter go over them.  It seemed like choppers filled the skies for days carrying wounded to all parts of the country for burn treatment.  A monument and caboose stand at the site now to honor all of those impacted by this tragedy.  The number of people who pass it and understand what happened are dwindling.  I was 14 years old when it happened, so my generation is the last one to remember it.  That in itself saddens me.

I took the liberty of including the lyrics to Dust in the Wind.  

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind

Musing on the past


P.S.  If you are interested in learning more about the Waverly explosion, please see:

About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

Speak Your Mind


CraftBeerClub.com-The Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner