What gives this song its weird resonance is that it's ambiguous whether the West and East Ends of London are meant (which are the "right" and "wrong" sides of "the tracks" respectively, with the connotations of class struggle -- it has to do, strangely enough, with historic patterns of air pollution) or the "West" and "East" politically (as in Berlin, Germany, Cold War geopolitics, etc.) It SOUNDS as if they're talking in code -- "Hard" and "Soft" are also travel options on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, as well as any number of other associations...porn, drugs, etc. (Finland Station is in Russia, BTW, the site of Lenin's triumphant entry into the country as a head of state.)

Somehow, it all combines into a shadowy texture of underground activity, sex, and not a little paranoia...which is why I love it so much.

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