CITY OF 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 of Kankakee,
rollin' along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' towns that have no name,
freight yards full of old black men,
and the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.
Good morning, 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
and I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done .
Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car
Penny a point, no one keepin' score.
Pass the paper bag, that holds the bottle.
You can feel the wheels, rumblin' 'neath the floor.
And the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers
Ride their Father's magic carpet made of steel,
Mothers sing their babes to sleep
rocking to the gentle beat
and the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
Good morning, America ...
Night time on the City of New Orleans,
changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home and 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,
the steel rail still ain't heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again,
the passengers will please refrain.
This train's got the disappearin' railroad blues.
Good night, America ...