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Arlo Guthrie — City Of New Orleans
Album: Hobo's Lullaby
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 363









Released: 1972
Length: 4:24
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Riding on the (wp|City of New Orleans)
(wp|Illinois Central Railroad|Illinois Central), Monday morning rail
15 cars and 15 restless riders
3 conductors, 25 sacks of mail

All along the southbound odyssey, the train pulls out of Kankakee
And rolls along past houses farms and fields
Passing trains that have no name, and freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles

Good morning America, how are you
Said 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 500 miles when the day is done

Dealing card games, with the old men in the club car
Penny a point ain't no one keeping score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels, rumblin' 'neath the floor

And the sons of (wp|Pullman porters), and the sons of engineers
Ride their fathers' magic carpets, made of steel
And mothers with their babes asleep, are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel

Good morning America, how are you
Said 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 500 miles when the day is done

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Halfway home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness, rolling down to the sea

But all the towns and people seem, to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again, the passengers will please refrain
This train got the disappearing railroad blues

Good night America, how are you
Said 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 500 miles when the day is done
Comments (78)add comment
 Cynaera wrote:
This is one of those songs that will make me miss a phone call, a season finale, or a toast, just so I can listen to it from beginning to end.  The combination of wonderful, picture-painting lyrics and beautiful music makes me ache for a rocking chair, a pipe, and a view of the mountains.  Thank you, Steve Goodman, for creating this song. And thank you, Arlo Guthrie, for bringing it to my attention so many years ago...

 
There are songs that bring tears to my eyes, through the instrumentality or the voice of human spirit, or sometimes with its it's place in memory, Arlo gets me with this one
{#Hug}
Like the dutch version of Gerard Cox more... 
 autoroute25 wrote:
Joe Dassin - Salut les amoureux


 
Merci !  
This is one of those songs that will make me miss a phone call, a season finale, or a toast, just so I can listen to it from beginning to end.  The combination of wonderful, picture-painting lyrics and beautiful music makes me ache for a rocking chair, a pipe, and a view of the mountains.  Thank you, Steve Goodman, for creating this song. And thank you, Arlo Guthrie, for bringing it to my attention so many years ago...
Been on that train.  What a great experience, and how well this song captures it!
It doesn't matter who does this song it's notes waft on the memories of my youth...being a kid listening to my Mom singing this with her country/rock cover band at band practice while I curled up in the corner with a book and my dog, Jenny.    Thanks for the mini vacation from the mundane stress of this work day!!  :-)

Not my favorite of his but still good.
 KevH wrote:
Love the song Bill,  Thank you!

Kind of surprised that the writer of this song, Steve Goodman, is not on the RP playlist. 
 
I'll second that.

I give you visual proof that Steve was indeed a north-sider who bled "Cubbie Blue" all the way to the end:



He still gets a bunch of local airplay, as the Cubs play his "Go Cubs Go" song after every home win. 

If you have a chance, check out his far superior "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" on youtube.  It's got a bunch of early-80's dated references, but the lingering pain of Cubbie futility is still looming constantly almost 30 years later.

Love the song Bill,  Thank you!

Kind of surprised that the writer of this song, Steve Goodman, is not on the RP playlist. 
 katyb wrote:

Sorry, MortimerS., Steve Goodman, the writer of this song, was from Chicago not Minnesota. {#Angel}

 
Well, in my defense. Well, I have no defense.
Peace,

Nice!
 MortimerS wrote:
And a Minnesotan wrote it. Go figure. I do like this version, but Steve live at the Orpheum with John Prine before he passed is the one I will remember.
 
Sorry, MortimerS., Steve Goodman, the writer of this song, was from Chicago not Minnesota. {#Angel}

 autoroute25 wrote:
Joe Dassin - Salut les amoureux

 

In Holland: Gerard Cox - Het is weer voorbij die mooie zomer (1973)

memories ...
{#Good-vibes}
The only guy who could pull off "Solo Reunion Tour - Together At Last".
I am just old enough to remember what "father's magic carpet made of steel" was like before Amtrak.  Those of you who aren't, just listen to this, and you'll have some idea.
And a Minnesotan wrote it. Go figure. I do like this version, but Steve live at the Orpheum with John Prine before he passed is the one I will remember.
OMG!  I love this song — my mom had this album and I grew up listening to it, and we would all sing along.  I will always have a soft spot for it, and all the records in my mom's collection because that was my first exposure to music!

Arlo Guthrie live by =mjbear
marty   ©2008-2010 =mjbear

This is Arlo Guthrie. He played with his son and grandson at the festival but he has been known for years. To those who don't know of him, he an iconic legend so you should find out more about him. He has some of the best stories and plays some great tunes. He even played at Woodstock. One of the funniest things he said during the time he played was a quote from Marylin Monroe that was never written down. She said " The best answer when asked to do something your not sure about is....ahh what the hell...." Just made me smile. The last song he played at the event was "this land is your land", and had stories to tell after each verse. If you ever get the chance to see him you must or you will regret it.



Stands the test of time quite well, me thinks. 
Sorta interesting that this lovely song would be charactarized as Arlo's "one hit" (forgetting "Alice's Restaurant"), given who he is and that his daddy had a guitar with the legend "This machine kills fascists" written on it.
Joe Dassin - Salut les amoureux

Good cover but Steve' Goodman's original is sublime...
Bill and Rebecca, it is time that we had some Steve Goodman on Radio Paradise.  Please!

Timeless.....classic.


Remember riding The City of New Orleans line from Chicago to Effingham during the college days. Something romantic about it. It was like the Orient Express in winter. Such an odd cast of characters. I would always eat a Gold Coast hot dog and fries before boarding at Union Station. You could always count on the train to arrive between 30 minutes and four hours late. Ah, the rails.

 wxman wrote:
In the summer of 2000, Arlo rolled up to a hotel pool where I was a lifeguard. He was old and gray yet had an entourage of beautiful young ladies with him. A couple of the girls invited me backstage for his concert that was scheduled later that night. Unfortunately, I had plans with my girlfriend at the time and had to decline. We broke up a couple of years later. I wish I could hit the redo button on that one:)
 
This may be one of the biggest mistakes of your life... but you already know that.  I do feel bad for you, though. 


 Prodigal_SOB wrote:

he WAS a die hard Cubs fan to boot

Yes, more Steve Goodman... The Dutchman anyone?
This song has given me chills from the first listen decades ago.  I nearly cry.  I know not why.
 Blip wrote:
Nope, can't beat Willie on this song. Don't know if it is an original Arlo or Willie.

 

Steve Goodman

 steeler wrote:


Love Arlo, and this song resonates. But, I agree, let's also hear Steve Goodman. He was a native son in Chicago, and I had the pleasure of seeing him a few times.
 

Bill you really need to play some Steve Goodman.  He is one of the great song writers.  I fortunately got to see him in Boston one year, and miss him.
I like Arlo 'n' all, but I'm afraid NASA and the ensuing media coverage of same took away any enjoyment I might derive from this number.

(Now....where's that pickle emoticon....??)
Nope, can't beat Willie on this song. Don't know if it is an original Arlo or Willie.



Arlo Guthrie & Willie Nelson - "Will The Circle be Unbroken" Live 2005:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgl0W7k_Q-4


In the summer of 2000, Arlo rolled up to a hotel pool where I was a lifeguard. He was old and gray yet had an entourage of beautiful young ladies with him. A couple of the girls invited me backstage for his concert that was scheduled later that night. Unfortunately, I had plans with my girlfriend at the time and had to decline. We broke up a couple of years later. I wish I could hit the redo button on that one:)


 Otomi wrote:

...jes wanna ride on mah motasickle.
 

Don't wanta die, just want to ride my motttooooo-cye, kel!
 mandolin wrote:
...i don't want a pickle...
 
...jes wanna ride on mah motasickle.
Wow. Don't THIS bring back memories? Love it.
Even I like this one!
...i don't want a pickle...
trekhead wrote:
I like those folks-y, middle America, rambling story tunes. Not sure anyone writes them now. A 9. Examples?
John Hiatt, Greg Brown, Peter Case...they're out there.
RParadise wrote:
OK, I know that this is the version that most people know, because it became the "hit" version. But this song was written and first performed by Steve Goodman, a great, late lamented Chicago singer/songwriter, and his version is filled with life and a real feeling of love for the romance of rail. This version pales next to it. Come to think of it, we could use to hear some of Steve's music on RP. His voice was distinctive, and he played the hell out of his old acoustic guitar.
Love Arlo, and this song resonates. But, I agree, let's also hear Steve Goodman. He was a native son in Chicago, and I had the pleasure of seeing him a few times.
I like those folks-y, middle America, rambling story tunes. Not sure anyone writes them now. A 9. Examples?
A great way to start my morning in cubicle hell!
bubble_headed_beach_blond wrote:
i have tremendous respect for arlo and his heritage and music (got albums?) and talent and all like that. that said, i once saw richie havens followed by aztec two-step followed by arlo in an outdoor venue in hartford ct and i gotta say that the interest dropped after richie (local-ish guy) and then again after the aztec boys. aztec was quaint but old. and arlo and his band were just too slick for me. (i think dylan's son was drumming with them.) maybe an off night? btw, havens, for his encore, did an a cappella version of "on the turning away" that had people crying out and jumping to their feet with tears running down their cheeks. it was amazing. i don't expect to see that again.
Haven't thought about Aztec Two Step in years!!!
i'm in a much better mood having heard this one
i have tremendous respect for arlo and his heritage and music (got albums?) and talent and all like that. that said, i once saw richie havens followed by aztec two-step followed by arlo in an outdoor venue in hartford ct and i gotta say that the interest dropped after richie (local-ish guy) and then again after the aztec boys. aztec was quaint but old. and arlo and his band were just too slick for me. (i think dylan's son was drumming with them.) maybe an off night? btw, havens, for his encore, did an a cappella version of "on the turning away" that had people crying out and jumping to their feet with tears running down their cheeks. it was amazing. i don't expect to see that again.
there's nothing like an arlo guthrie concert. would be cool to hear arlo and willie team up on a version of this... mmmmm......pickle.....
ankhara99 wrote:
I LOVE Arlo! Saw him in concert a few years ago. He is not only an extremely talented musician, he is absolutely hilarious. I spent as much time laughing at his jokes as I did rockin' to his tunes.
Totally agree! I saw him at Deer Valley, UT. Great show. His stories were as good as the songs!
Not only the best cover of Goodman (Willie's is 2nd), but really Arlo's one big hit. Judy Collins actually recorded a good version of this as well, and she talked about Steve Goodman at a show last Christmas and what a phenomenal writer he was. Take it a step further...we have Goodman to thank for John Prine. His death truly was a terrible loss.
't is weer voorbij die mooie zomer... ;)
This song was covered in the late sixties by Joe Dassin, a famous french singer. Like it, but didn't know it was a cover till now.
He had a gift for allowing visualization of a song. Early videos...
Nice.. but I dont really like the vocals at the back :stupid:
Certainly agree with the comments about Steve Goodman. Saw him at the old auditorum on the Quad at Illinois back in the early 70s. A wonderful evening..
One of my all time favorite songs. Thanks Bill--you're really playing them tonight!
RosieRedfield wrote:
But this song was written and first performed by Steve Goodman, a great, late lamented Chicago singer/songwriter, and his version is filled with life and a real feeling of love for the romance of rail. This version pales next to it. Come to think of it, we could use to hear some of Steve's music on RP. His voice was distinctive, and he played the hell out of his old acoustic guitar.
Yes please, some Steve Goodman!
Great background, Rosie. Thanks. I like the Arlo version, but would much like to hear the original. No doubt the original train was a lot more interesting than the mundane bucket they replaced it with.
I LOVE Arlo! Saw him in concert a few years ago. He is not only an extremely talented musician, he is absolutely hilarious. I spent as much time laughing at his jokes as I did rockin' to his tunes.
RosieRedfield wrote:
But this song was written and first performed by Steve Goodman, a great, late lamented Chicago singer/songwriter, and his version is filled with life and a real feeling of love for the romance of rail. This version pales next to it. Come to think of it, we could use to hear some of Steve's music on RP. His voice was distinctive, and he played the hell out of his old acoustic guitar.
Yes please, some Steve Goodman!
Harry Chapin did a guest spot as a DJ on a national radio network over here - did a 2 hour programme. It was Steve Goodman's version of this that he played - no offence to Arlo, but it beats this rendition hollow.
Arlo - he's not just for Thanksgiving Day anymore. :wink: with so many truly great Arlo tunes out there, it's really kind of surprising that we don't hear from him more often on RP. would love to hear anything from his "Arlo" album sometime - "Meditation (Wave Upon Wave)", "Wouldn't You Believe It", "Standing At The Threshold", etc... - any of them, really. i would upload some tracks, but i only have it on vinyl.
:whistle:
The hours before and after my trip on the City of New Orleans, 30 years ago, were among the most monumental in my life - not necessarilly in a good way. The midnight ride itself was rather uneventful, except that the Guthrie tune kept rolling thru my head to the soft beat of the rails below. Such a gorgeous tune, such a dull train. The train is still running, if anyone has occasion to rail it up or down the Mississippi.
this song makes me tear up every time i hear it....
Just saw Arlo in Annapolis, and before he plays this song he always gives Steve Goodman credit for it - and, of course five minutes worth of story of how Steve stopped him in a bar and played it for him, etc. etc. etc... ala Arlo.
Mmm, Americana. Arlo does a fine job with this chestnut. Anyone else remember that Motorcycle rhymes with Pickle?
Great tune, I like the Cash version too. Just got back from CA where my uncle's friend sang it with his daughter on their back porch in Moraga. Made me want to get a guitar of my own. Geezy criminy, a rating of 9 _drops_ the overall score?
But this song was written and first performed by Steve Goodman, a great, late lamented Chicago singer/songwriter, and his version is filled with life and a real feeling of love for the romance of rail. This version pales next to it. Come to think of it, we could use to hear some of Steve's music on RP. His voice was distinctive, and he played the hell out of his old acoustic guitar.
Yes please, some Steve Goodman!
What a ride. My kindergarten teacher used to play peter paul and mary or arlo guthrie at naptime. I wasn\'t on the bus then....but it was only a matter of time...puff the magic what? And who\'s alice?
:notworthy: The back to back play list has really got me motivated. Many thanks Bill.
Easily in the top five of "train" songs.
Let's all get on the bus and go to Alice's Restaurant - whadaya say? :notworthy: :bounce: :bounce: :notworthy:
Finally...some Arlo!!! Thanks very much RP, my day just improved! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
You just made my day.... I miss my Mom :cry: :clap: :clap: :clap:
OK, I know that this is the version that most people know, because it became the \"hit\" version. But this song was written and first performed by Steve Goodman, a great, late lamented Chicago singer/songwriter, and his version is filled with life and a real feeling of love for the romance of rail. This version pales next to it. Come to think of it, we could use to hear some of Steve\'s music on RP. His voice was distinctive, and he played the hell out of his old acoustic guitar.
Steve Goodman lives.
I saw Arlo at Deer Valley in Park City Utah. One of the most entertaining concerts I\'ve seen. His stories were almost better than his songs which were all most excellent. :clap: :clap: