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A Train Robbery
by Levon Helm



The full moon touched the cold steel lines
The rail bed was frozen with ice
In the distance an engine was keepin' good time
The steam whistle moaned just twice
Down in the cut past the old trestle bridge
Twelve fine horses stood
Masked men shivered in the cold on the ridge
Not far from the Glendale woods

The brass lamp shone from the swayin' train
When the driver saw the red light
Her iron brakes sparked like silver rain
And the metals screamed through the night
The baggage man peered out to look for the fault
When fear froze up his heart
He was starin' down the barrel of an army colt
That threatened to tear him apart

[Chorus]
We will burn your train to cinders so throw the money on down
Open up your damned express car and jump down to the ground
But we won't touch that old Pullman she's Southern and they claimed
They ain't offered no reward for Frank and Jesse James
Frank and Jesse James

In long soldiers coats frayed with years
Quickly they scrambled aboard
The men was a-sweatin' and the women shed tears
And a preacher prayed to the Lord
When they opened the safe there was nothing for them
So they strolled down through the train
What a miserable sight, these desperate men
Robbin' old folks for their gold watch chains

[Chorus]

Now some say the devil had taken his soul
Some say his spirit survived
But we all know he was nothin' but a Missouri farm boy
Just fightin' to stay alive
High above that railroad bed
On a ridge where the pines grow tall
If you listen to the wind there's a ghost of a chance
You can still hear ole Jesse call

[Chorus]
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written by PAUL KENNERLEY
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group