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SONG City of brand-new OrleansWRITTEN by Steve GoodmanPERFORMED through Arlo GuthrieAPPEARS on Hobo"s Lullaby (1972), The finest of Arlo Guthrie (2007)NOTE Clay Eals, author of Steve Goodman: encountering the Music, is the resource of the account of how Steve Goodman and also Arlo Guthrie met.Late one 1971 night in a Chicago club, the club owner and a then unknown singer-songwriter called Steve Goodman approached Arlo Guthrie, who just finished performing. The owner inquiry Guthrie to listen to a song Goodman had written. A reluctant Guthrie i agree to hear for as lengthy as it took him come drink a beer. And also Goodman had to to buy the beer.The song that the owner had in psychic was referred to as "City of new Orleans," which was inspired by a ride Goodman and his wife had actually taken top top the train of that name come visit her mommy (a expedition Goodman had also taken numerous times as a student at the college of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana). Rife through nostalgia because that a long earlier America the rail travel and club cars, the song illustrated a near-deserted train with an ext mail 보다 passengers. Together Guthrie listened come the song, his the atmosphere must have softened. Had he well-known that "City of new Orleans" would certainly eclipse "Alice"s Restaurant" together his signature song, he could have jumped because that joy.Guthrie revolutionized the guitar-based folk song the Goodman romped with by slow the tempo and also singing it from behind a piano. In Guthrie"s elegiac rendition, "City" transcended nostalgia; listeners uncovered themselves ~ above the train, imagining us as one of the "fifteen restless riders" top top a "southbound odyssey" come the past, pacing nervously from one auto to another, kibitzing or sit in ~ above the penny a allude card video game in the club car.Goodman appeared to know that his lovely Midwest was fading, and also Guthrie caught perfectly the pathos that nameless trains, auto graveyards, and also the rumbling tenderness beat that a disappearing way of life that "still ain"t heard the news." at the end of each verse comes the haunting and also ironic chorus, v the City of brand-new Orleans optimistically greeting the country and also the brand-new day knowing full well the it will be long gone as soon as the "day is done," five hundred miles additional on the inexorable trip "through the Mississippi darkness rolling under to the sea.""City of brand-new Orleans" adjusted at least three lives. Because that Goodman, the royalties indigenous Guthrie"s #20 hit meant that he could quit his day project to become a full-time prolific songwriter. Highly respected by his peers, Goodman attractive a cult following and went on to compose many an ext songs, consisting of David Allan Coe"s #8 nation hit "You never Even referred to as Me By mine Name" (written with John Prine) and the Chicago favourite "A dice Cubs Fan"s critical Request." Steve Goodman passed away of leukemia in 1984 in ~ the period of 36.Before "City of brand-new Orleans," Arlo Guthrie was recognized as a performer of novelty songs and also as the son of America"s greatest folk singer. "City" revealed Guthrie together an artist of great depth, insightful sufficient to take another writer"s song and also improve on it. That anchored his 1972 album Hobo"s Lullaby, one electic mix of classic and modern folk, country, blues, Hawaiiana, and also ragtime. Guthrie looked ago to the work of his father and also his father"s contemporaries while at the same time reinterpreting modern-day songwriters like Goodman, Hoyt Axton, and Bob Dylan."City" notifies Hobo"s Lullaby throughout. Photos of solitary take trip abound: "I"ll come ago home to you," "On a long lonesome journey I"m going," "Take a expedition with me come 1913," "I"ve to be to wild Montana," and, indigenous the title track which is also "City"s" touching companion piece, "let the town"s drift progressively by" and "can"t girlfriend hear the steel rails hummin"." "Lightning Bar Blues" and also "Ukulele Lady" sound favor songs a lonesome passenger could pick the end on the guitar that travels anywhere with him. The title of "Mapleview (20%) Rag" evokes new Orleans itself, the residence of ragtime. And the fragile community of conductors, porters, passengers, and engineers finds its expression inEvery day one more man reaches the end his handEvery minute there"s a shifting in the sandIt"s my favourite Guthrie album, one i still listen to numerous times a year.Which leads me come the 3rd person who life "City of brand-new Orleans" changed: Me. I favored the song once I heard that on the radio and bought Hobo"s Lullaby when it come out. I was 17 in ~ the time, and it opened up my ears to a brand-new musical vocabulary. Because that the very first time, ns heard a country song ("Shackles & Chains") that I wanted to sing in addition to instead the ridicule, and also my love of standard country began. I had never heard the blues played acoustically; eventually, this brought about the discovery of Robert Johnson and also his mystical civilization of hustlers, quick women, and also uncompromising demons. Hobo"s Lullaby compelled me to recognize that there were songwriters other than the sanctified Dylan and also Lennon-McCartney.Growing up, my family members moved many times till settling in south Texas in 1967. Every summer the seven of united state piled into a terminal wagon do the trek indigenous Texas come Pennsylvania and Massachusetts come visit relatives, a trip that made us international wanderers by the lamp of southern Texas. Till I listened to "City of new Orleans," it never occurred to me that at some point I can travel through myself come wherever I want to go. The romantic of the notion held me then, and also still stop me today.LYRICSRiding top top the City of brand-new Orleans,Illinois central Monday morning railFifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,Three conductors and also twenty-five sacks of mail.All follow me the southbound odysseyThe train pulls out at KankakeeRolls along past houses, farms and also fieldsPassin" trains that have actually no names,Freight yards full of old black color menAnd the graveyards the the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?Don"t you know me I"m your indigenous son,I"m the train they speak to The City of new Orleans,I"ll be gone five hundred miles once the job is done.Dealin" card games with the old males in the society car.Penny a suggest ain"t nobody keepin" score.Pass the record bag the holds the bottleFeel the wheel rumblin" "neath the floor.And the sons of pullman portersAnd the boy of engineersRide your father"s magic carpets do of steel.Mothers v their babes asleep,Are rockin" to the tenderness beatAnd the rhythm of the rails is every they feel.Good morning America just how are you?Don"t you recognize me I"m your indigenous son,I"m the train they contact The City of new Orleans,I"ll it is in gone five hundred miles once the work is done.Nighttime top top The City of brand-new Orleans,Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.Half method home, we"ll be there by morningThrough the Mississippi darknessRolling under to the sea.And every the towns and also people seemTo fade right into a negative dreamAnd the stole rails quiet ain"t heard the news.The conductor sings his song again,The passengers will please refrainThis train"s obtained the disappearing railroad blues.Good night, America, just how are you?Don"t you understand me I"m your aboriginal son,I"m the train they call The City of brand-new Orleans,I"ll be gone 5 hundred miles once the job is done.I experienced this tour in 1978.


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Arlo amassed five guitars for "Comin" right into Los Angeles." Here, the sings one assured variation of "City of brand-new Orleans":Steve Goodman, "City"s" author, with Jethro Burns that Homer and also Jethro on mandolin:Wille Nelson and Sheryl crow essay a rollicking country version that seems to have actually benefited indigenous passing the paper bag that holds the bottle:Arlo, once more:P.S. If you watched the Coe video and thought the guitarist looked familiar, that"s because he"s Warren Haynes, the etc hero that went on to revive the Allman Brothers and also lead Gov"t Mule.