Downbound Train is a song about a life that has turned into a disaster. I've felt the way the character narrating the song feels a time or two, but I don't think I've ever had my own life go as awry as his has. But as bad as it seems it would be to experience this kind of downward spiral yourself, it seems to me that it is worse to watch someone you know have this happen to them and be unable to do anything that will help change their trajectory.
And it is even more depressing when the person in this downward spiral is a teenager who doesn't even realize that they are headed in a self-destructive direction, and won't listen when you try to tell them that the path they are on will result in the loss of everything they have ever dreamed for their life. And the only thing you can do is sit by and watch as the collapse they don't see coming consumes them.
Bruce Springsteen Musical Monday Home