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  • City of New Orleans

    Mike Cox posted on April 20, 2012 11:33

    Download the Lyrics and Chords

    "City of New Orleans" is a folk song written by Steve Goodman (and first recorded for Goodman's self-titled 1971 album), describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad's City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms.

    While at the Quiet Knight bar in Chicago, Goodman saw Arlo Guthrie, and asked to be allowed to play a song for him. Guthrie grudgingly agreed, on the condition that if Goodman would buy him a beer, Guthrie would listen to him play for as long as it took to drink the beer. Goodman played "City of New Orleans," which Guthrie liked enough that he asked to record it. The song was a hit for Guthrie on his 1972 album Hobo's Lullaby, reaching #4 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and #18 on the Hot 100 chart, and is now more closely associated with him, although Goodman continued to perform it until his death in 1984.

    ****WORD/PDF UPDATED August 7 2017 - SR****

    ~~~ChordPro Version UPDATED Sept 03, 2017 CEL~~~

    A video for this song:

    Posted in: Individual Songs, May 2012 - Train songs., November 2014 Anything Goes, May 18 2016, September 2017 (7 Comments)


Gordon  Thomas
# Gordon Thomas
Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:39 PM

This is a great song.
Sharon Baird
# Sharon Baird
Monday, April 23, 2012 1:06 PM
good song, and key of C would be great
mike cockburn
# mike cockburn
Friday, May 11, 2012 6:43 PM
Not sure of one line in the C tab here, here is one i have used...

[F]Good morning Am[G]erica, how a[C]re you?
Say [Am]don't you know me, [F]I'm your native [C]son. [G]
I'm the [C]train they call the [G]City of New [Am]Orleans, [D7]
I'll be [Bb] gone [F]five [G]hundred miles when the day is [C]done.
Bytown Ukulele Group
# Bytown Ukulele Group
Friday, May 11, 2012 9:04 PM
I spelled Steve Goodman's name wrong but corrected it. I am sure he won't complain.
Bytown Ukulele Group
# Bytown Ukulele Group
Friday, May 11, 2012 9:08 PM
Mike, I like that better then what I have, easier to get my head around but would the last line not be:

I'll be [Bb]gone five [F]hundred [G]miles when the day is [C]done.
mike cockburn
# mike cockburn
Friday, May 11, 2012 9:17 PM
after i realized that it was just chord substitutions of relative minors - so could work either way - i like the position adjustments you made for the last line!
Bytown Ukulele Group
# Bytown Ukulele Group
Friday, May 11, 2012 9:29 PM
Changes made to the files Mike. What you have here with my slight change. I think this way works much better. I got these chords from Richard G's uke songs and transposed them from F (Arlo) to C (easy for the average man).