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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hey, It's Maddrey Grass!

Well, that's how Bugs Bunny taught me to pronounce it, anyway. Happy Fat Tuesday! Let's hit it in the El Rayo-X style:



What the fuss is all about:


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

Good morning America how are you?
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.

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 carpets made of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep,
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
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.

And 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 song again,
The passengers will please refrain
This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
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.


lyrics: The City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman ©1970, 1971 EMI U Catalogue, Inc and Turnpike Tom Music (ASCAP)

4 comments:

John Lien said...

Poetry, I don't often enjoy because I'm not sure what the writer means half the time. But, when you combine the lyric imagery of a good song with the right chord progression, I'll burst into tears. City of New Orleans will do that to me. Also, I love the old photos.

Glynn said...

Those photos are of scenes and times a little older than I am, but they are very much the New Orleans I grew up with, and that my mother still knows deep inher soul.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi John- Thanks for reading and commenting.

Hi Glynn- I've read a description of New Orleans written by Mark Twain. I don't think much has changed there since the French threw the Spanish out, but you tell me.

Sam L. said...

I took a long train ride back in '86; City Of New Orleans was on auto-play in my head.