I've always wondered if the lyrics of Bakerman by Laid Back have a deeper meaning. It basically consists of the lines:

Bakerman is baking bread


Sagabona kunjani wena

(Which means as much as "Hello, how are you?")


The night train is coming

Got to keep on running

While I can imagine some metaphorical meaning of the last one, especially the bakerman line irritates me. Is there a meaning or is it just some mindless amusing lines?

  • IMHO it's just nonsense. – BCdotWEB Mar 24 '15 at 11:06
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    All these things happen very late at night: a baker baking bread, Africans saying hello (because it's still night in the US when it's morning in Africa), night train coming. Just an observation. – Jan Johannsen May 19 '15 at 20:37
  • @JanJohannsen interesting point... – André Stannek May 20 '15 at 7:08
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    A bakerman is basically somebody who is smoking weed... I think it's a song about a guy who is stoned and sings about what he sees and what his thoughts are... – user676 Jun 15 '15 at 12:20
  • @JanJohannsen The group was Danish, though, and there's no time difference between Denmark and Africa. My own association (based on my European experience) is that you can meet a lot of immigrants around train stations in larger cities at night time. – jarauh Feb 1 '20 at 16:13

I think you are right about the deeper meaning. Baker man bakes bread every night, no matter what happened. It means do your job.

Your night train is coming and you have to be on time on the station, so got to keep on running! No matter it's night and you wanna sleep. It means you have to try your best to do something very important. But it did not work. So, if it happened, then relax, calm down, take it easy, it's too late to worry.

It's about the same in the "Sunshine reggae": be positive, strong and optimistic.


It is probably more or less nonsense. The music was made first, while the lyrics were made during the recordings.

Source (in Danish) http://www.musiknyt.dk/anmeldelser/anmeldelser-artikel/artikel/laid-back/

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    Just because the lyrics came later, does not mean the lyrics are meaningless. Ever hear about the "Scrambled Eggs" version of Yesterday by the Beatles? – Dom Jul 19 '15 at 20:32
  • "I came up with it During the recording ," says John . " And the only thing that is put on afterwards , is Hanne Boel that fills the gaps where I just could think of anything to sing ." (My translation) - maybe an overinterpretation, but I guess it was very improvised, with little meaning. I could be wrong. – Stefan Jul 20 '15 at 9:42

It's about feeling small and weak. Human being wants to be big but finally we all find ourselves doing ordinary everyday-business. We say' hello' and 'thank you' but we don't really come over. It's about suffering because of that. Excuse my english, it's rubbish.


I always thought it was just describing night time. It lists late evening / night things, like baker man who is baking bread and the night train that is coming. They do these during the night. And also, because it is night, it is too late to worry about anything, you better sleep. This was always my guess about this great song's lyrics. This song is my alarm clock tone for 6 years now it is so smooth to wake up for this. Fun fact: I heard "I'm Johnny Wayne now" into "kunjani wena" because I thought the whole song is about the night, when the writer/singer is dreaming, so he is John Wayne. :-)

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