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Published on Apr 9, 2008
Written by Steve Goodman
Sung by Terry Mechan
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. Passin' trains that have no names, Freight yards full of old black men And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles
Good morning 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.
Dealin' card games 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 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, Are rockin' to the gentle beat And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
Nighttime 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 bad dream And the steel rails still ain't heard the news. The conductor sings his song again, The passengers will please refrain This train's got the disappearing 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 five hundred miles when the day is done.