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In the dodge city yards of the sante fe
stood a freight made up for the east
and the engineer with his oil and waste
was groomin' the great iron beast;
While ten cars back in the murky dust
a box-car door swung wide
and a hobo lifted his pal aboard
to start on his last, long ride;
A lantern swung and the freight pulled out
the engine it gathered speed
the engineer pulled the throttle wide
and clucked to his fiery steed;
Ten cars back in the empty box
the hobo rolled a pill
the flare of the match showed his partners' face
stark white and deathly still;
As the train wheels clicked on the couplin' joints
a song for the ramblers' ears
the hobo talked to the still, white form
his pal for many a year;
for a mighty long time we've rambled, jack
with the luck of men that roam
with the back door steps for a dining room
and the boxcar for a home;
We dodged the bulls on the eastern route
and the cops on the chesapeake
we travelled the leadville narrow gauge
in the days of cripple creek;
We drifted down through sunny cal
on the rails of the old s. p.
and of all you had, through good and bad
a half always belonged to me;
You made me promise to you, jack
if i lived and you cashed in
to take you back to the old churchyard
and bury you there with your kin;
You seemed to know i would keep my word
for you said that i was wise
well, i'm keepin my promise to you, pal
'cause i'm takin' you home tonight;
I hadn't the money to send you there
so i'm takin' you back on the 'fly'
it's the decent way for a bo to go
home to the by and by;
I knew that fever had you, jack
and that doctor just wouldn't come
he was too busy treatin' the wealthy folks
to doctor a worn out bum;
as the train rolled over it's ribbon of steel
straight through to the east it sped
the engineer in his high cab seat
keep his eyes on the rails ahead;
While ten cars back in the empty box
the lonely hobo sighed
for the days of old and his pal so cold
was taking his last long ride.

Hank Snow





Hank Snow

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