Mar 29, 2014

The City of New Orleans

Sara Paretsky was talking on Facebook about how The City of New Orleans train used to go right by her dining room, and somebody responded with this wonderful 1972 video of 
Steve Goodman performing his song.

Steve Goodman was an amazing talent, who wrote clever songs about Chicago and life, in no particular order. He died in 1984 of leukemia but his music lives on:
Taffy Cannon MPHS 66
I loved his sound. Thanks for this clip.
Sharon Avny
Very nice. Thanks.  
Will Hepburn


From Song Facts

Steve Goodman wrote this in 1970. He wrote the lyrics on a sketch pad after his wife fell asleep on the Illinois Central train, where they were going to visit his wife's grandmother. Goodman wrote about what he saw looking out the windows of the train and playing cards in the club car. 

Everything in the song actually happened on the ride. After he returned home he heard the train was scheduled to be decommissioned do to lack of passengers. He was encouraged to use this song to save the train. He retouched the lyrics and released it on his first album in 1971.

Goodman died September 20, 1984 at the age of 36 after a long battle with leukemia. 

Send "City Of New Orleans" Ringtone to your Mobile

The City of New Orleans. 

Illinois Central, Monday mornin' rail;
Fourteen cars and fourteen restless riders,
Three conductors, twenty five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey, the train rolls out of Kankakee
Ridin' past the houses, farms and fields,
Passin' trains that have no names, freight yards full of old black men,
The graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good mornin' 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 'fore 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 a-rumblin' 'neath the floor.
And the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers
Ride their fathers' magic carpet made of steel;

Mothers with their babes asleep, rockin' to the gentle beat,And the rythm of the rails is all they feel.
Good day, 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 'fore the day is done.

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans,
Changin' cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Halfway home, we'll be there 'fore mornin',
Through the Mississippi darkness rollin' down to the sea.
And all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream,
And the steel wheels still ain't heard the news,
The conductor sings his songs again, the passengers will please refrain,
This train's got the disappearin' 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

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