Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Running Through My Head

Ridin' on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday mornin' rail
15 cars & 15 restless riders
Three conductors, 25 sacks of mail

All along the southbound odyssey the train pulls out of Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms & fields
Passin' graves that have no name, freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of rusted automobiles

Good mornin' America, how are you?
Don't you know me? I'm your native son.
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done

Dealin' cards with the old men in the club car
Penny a point, ain't no one keepin' score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
And feel the wheels rumblin' neath the floor

And the sons of Pullman porters & the sons of engineers
Ride their fathers' magic carpets made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep, rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel

Good mornin' America, how are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son.
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans.
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.

Night time on the City of New Orleans
Changin' cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Halfway home, we'll be there by mornin'
Through the Mississippi darkness rollin' down to the sea

But all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again
The passengers will please refrain:
This train got the disappearin' railroad blues

Good night America, how are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son.
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans.
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.

(c) Arlo Guthrie

5 comments:

  1. Nicely done.

    As a sad coda to that, apparently it wasn't long ago that Pres. Bush cut back federal funding to improve flood control for New Orleans. (NYTimes)

    G.W. Bush--- the proven leader for our troubled times.

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  2. That has been in my head all day too, Krup. Steve Goodman's version, but still.

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  3. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Steve Goodman
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Seeing Arlo Guthrie in a bar, Goodman asked to be allowed to play a song for him. Guthrie grudgingly agreed on the condition that Goodman buy him a beer first; Goodman played "City of New Orleans" which Guthrie liked enough that he asked for the right to record it. Guthrie's version of the song became a hit in 1972, and provided Goodman with enough financial success to make his music a full-time career. The song would become an American standard, covered by many other musicians including Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, and Willie Nelson.
    Credit where credt s due.

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  4. What's interesting, anonymous, is that the Arlo Guthrie version, which is the one I posted, is slightly different.

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  5. Anonymous8:08 PM

    http://www.arlo.net/
    The City of New Orleans
    by Steve Goodman

    Riding on the City of New Orleans,
    Illinois Central Monday morning rail . . .

    Every singer with a true talent makes a song his own. Still, the copyright belongs to the composer.

    Those who walked the same streets and frequented the same clubs as Steve Goodman remember his quiet courage and remarkable good humor as he fought a losing battle with leukemia, and they remember him telling the story of bringing the song to Arlo. Arlo made it great, but it came from the heart and spirit of Steve. I'm just saying.

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