Willie Nelson City of New Orleans cover

City of New Orleans
by
Lyrics and Meaning


Ratings

Song Lyrics

Song Meaning
Verse 1
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
Verse 2
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
Verse 3
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
Verse 4
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
Verse 5
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
Verse 6
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
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done
Verse 7
Nighttime 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
Verse 8
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
Verse 9
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
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done

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