Ridin' on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday mornin' rail
15 cars & 15 restless riders
Three conductors and 24 sacks of mail
All along the southbound odyssey the train rolls out of Kankakee
and moves along past houses, farms & fields
Passin' trains that have no name, and switch yards full of old black men,
And graveyards of rusted automobiles
Good mornin' America, how are you?
Say don't you know me? I'm your native son!
I'm a train they call the City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done
Dealin' cards with the old men in the club car
Penny a point, and nobody's keepin' score
Hey now pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
And feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor
And the sons of Pullman porters & the sons of engineers
Ride their daddys' magic carpet made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep, rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel
Night time on the City of New Orleans
Changin' cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Halfway home, we'll be there by mornin'
Thru the Mississippi darkness rollin' down to the sea
And all the towns & people seem to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his song again
"The passengers will please refrain:
This train has got the disappearin' railroad blues"