Riding on the City of New Orleans, Illinois Central, Monday morning
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders, three conductors and twentyfife
sacks of mail.
All along the southbound Odyssey, the train pulls out to Kan Kakee,
rolls past the 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 fivehundred miles when the day is done.
Dealin’ card games with the old man in the club-car
Penny up Oney, none keep in stock
Pass the paper back, that holds the bottle you can feel the wheels,
grumblin’ ‘neath the floor.
And the sons of Foreman Harders and the sons of the engeneers
Ride their Father’s magic carpet made of steel,
Mothers sweep their babies to sleep
rocking on the gentle beat and the rythm of the rails is all they feel.Chorus
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 steal-rail still ain’t heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again, the passengers will please refrain.
This train got to dissapear in the railroad-blues.Chorus