City of New Orleans
Written by Steve Goodman & Ilan Goldhirsh




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 pulled out at Kankakee,
And rolls along past houses, farms and fields,
Passin' trains that have no names, and freight yards full of old black men,
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

chorus 1:

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",
And 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 carpet made of steel,
Mothers with their babes asleep, are rockin' to the gentle beat,
And the rhythm of the rail is all they feel.

chorus 1:


Night time 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 songs again, the passengers will please refrain,
This train has got the disappearing railroad blues.

chorus 2:

Singing, goodnight America, how are you?
Hey 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 a long long time when day is done.

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