Monday, September 05, 2005

Requiem for an American Atlantis

City of New Orleans
Words and music:
Arlo Guthrie
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'
Thru 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.

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