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Lyrics, Sundry

Lyrics: The City of New Orleans

Riding the Streetcar

I’ve got Arlo Guthrie in my head, and uploaded some pictures from December, 2000 that I took in New Orleans.

Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail

All along the Southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms and fields
Passing trains that have no name
And freight yards full of old black men
And the grave yards of the rusted automobiles

Good morning, America, how are you?
Said 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 five hundred miles when the day is done.

Dealing card games with the old men in the club car
Penny a point aint 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
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father’s 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 morning America, how are you?
Said 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 five hundred miles when the day is done

Night time on The City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Halfway home, we’ll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness rolling down to the sea

But all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still aint 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?
Said 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 five hundred miles when the day is done.

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  • Amen, brother. Here are some more choice lyrics for you.

    Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
    And miss it each night and day
    I know I’m not wrong, the feeling’s getting stronger
    The longer I stay away

    Miss the moss-covered vines, tall sugar pines
    Where mockingbirds used to sing
    I’d love to see that old lazy Mississippi
    Hurrying into Spring

    The moonlight on the bayou
    A Creole tune that fills the air
    I dream about magnolias in bloom
    And I’m wishin I was there

    Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
    When that’s where you left your heart
    And there’s one thing more, I miss the one I care for
    More than I miss New Orleans

    (Louis Alter / Eddie DeLange)