The online video encyclopedia about
New Orleans, its culture, and its people


Johnny Cash

"City of New Orleans" c. 1980




Lyrics

Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central, monday morning rail,
fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
three conductors, twenty-five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound Odyssey
the train pulls out of Kankakee
and rolls along past houses, farms and fields,
passing trains that have no name
freight yards full of old black men
and the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America, how are ya?
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.

Dealin' cards to the old men in the club car,
penny a point ain't no one keepin' score,
pass the paper baq that holds the bottle,
you can feel the wheels rumblin' neath the floor.
The sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers
ride their fathers' magic carpets made of steel
mothers with their babes asleep
are rockin' to the gentle beat
and the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.

Good morning America, how are ya?
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.

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 rollin' down to the sea.
But all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream
the steel rails still ain't heard the news
the conductor sings his songs again:
passengers will please refrain,
this train's got the disappearin' railroad blues.

Good night America, how are ya?
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




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