City of New Orleans

Arlo Guthrie

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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.

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All along the southbound odyssey, the train pulls out of Kankakee

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And rolls along past houses, farms and fields

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Passing trains that have no name, freight yards of old black men

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And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

 

CHORUS:

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Good morning America, how are you?

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Say, don't you know me, I'm your native son.

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I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans

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And 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 ain't no-one keeping score.

Pass the paper bag but hold the bottle, feel the wheels rumbling 'neath the floor

And the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers

Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel

Mother with her babes asleep rocking to the gentle beat

And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.

 

CHORUS

 

Nightime on the City of New Orleans - changing cars in Memphis Tennessee

Half way 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 dark 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 disappearing railroad blues.

 

FINAL CHORUS

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 five hundred miles when the day is done.