mystery train-whistle blues


something about

that long black train

a whistle that blew

a hundred miles

about not going home

this a-way  this a-away

penniless  hoping

leave a dime for beer



spike driver sings

of a love left and lost

you can hear that KC moan

Doppler-shifting through the night

so take the A-train

keep it rolling  cannonballing

if you’re howling and you’re trusting

and you’re getting pushed around



something about

that old glory train

don’t need any luggage  they say

if you’re tired of transportation

in the back of a hack

might hear that train a-coming

hear the whistle  see the smoke

too bad you had to  leave this town but

that’s just the way it goes



on the New Delhi freight train

or that last one to Clarkesville

mean ol’ ‘Frisco  Marrakesh bound

Wabash too  or maybe Alabam

Casey Jones  John Henry

Reuben and his buddy Railroad Bill

don’t you tell a-one of them

which train you’re on so

they won’t know where you’ve gone



something about

a brokedown engine

and the lack of a driving wheel

you shouldn’t be here trying

to sing these railroad blues

to all concerned  dead or alive

at yet another whistle stop

where the locos will arrive



followed her to the station

suitcase in your hand

no one heard you crying

a-woo-hoo  let a poor boy ride

so doggone blue to listen

to that old smokestack

when there’s two trains running

just one coming back





Richard Foreman

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