City of New Orleans

Steve Goodman Buy

About City of New Orleans

"City of New Orleans" is a country folk song written by Steve Goodman (and first recorded for Goodman's self-titled 1971 album), describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad's City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms. Goodman got the idea while traveling on the Illinois Central line for a visit to his wife's family. The song has been recorded by numerous artists both in the US and Europe, including two major hit versions: first by Arlo Guthrie in 1972, and later by Willie Nelson in 1984. An article in the September 2017 issue of Trains magazine chronicles the writing and recording of the song and includes a biographical sketch of Steve Goodman.  


Year:
1994
47 Views
Playlists:
#1

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Riding on the city of New Orleans
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
There are fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail

There all out on this southbound odyssey
And the train pulls out of Kankakee
Rolls past the houses, farms and fields
Passin' towns that have no names
And freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of rusted automobiles

Singin' "good morning America, how are ya?"
Saying "don't ya know me? I'm your native son"
Yes, I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
And I'll be gone 500 miles when day is done

And I was dealing cards with the old men in the club car
And it's penny a point, there ain't no one keeping score
Won't ya past that paper bag that holds that bottle
You can feel the wheels grumbling through the floor

And the sons of Pullman porters; the sons of engineers
They ride their father's magic carpet made of steel
And mothers with the babes asleep
Go rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they dream

Just a-singin' "good morning America, how are ya?"
Sayin' "don't ya know me? I'm your native son"
And I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone 500 miles when day is done

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
It's halfway home and we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness rolling to the sea
And all the towns and people
They seem to fade into a bad dream
The old steel rails, it ain't heard the news
The conductor sings that song again
Its passengers will please refrain
This train's got the disappearing railroad blues

Just a-singin' "good night America, how are ya?"
Sayin' "don't ya know me? I'm your native son"
And I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done

Just a-singin' "good night America, how are ya?"
Sayin' "don't ya know me? I'm your native son"
And I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
And I'll be gone a long, long time when the day is done

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Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984) was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. The writer of "City of New Orleans", made popular by Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson, Goodman won two Grammy Awards. more »

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Written by: Steve Goodman

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"City of New Orleans Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Jul 2020. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/1632631/Steve+Goodman>.

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City of New Orleans

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