ruben's train

well ruben had a train, he put it on the track
you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
and its oh me, oh lordy my, you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

well the train I ride on is a hundred coaches long
you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
and its oh me, oh lordy my, you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

well i'm walkin' down the track I got tears in my eyes
i'm trying to read a letter from my home
and its oh me, oh lordy my, i'm trying to read a letter from my home

oh the train I ride on is six hundred coaches long
you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
and its oh me, oh lordy my, you could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2007

ludlow street rag

my lady she left, she did me wrong
sick of this here banjo ringing all night long
my fingers always hurting, coming home with the bread
but all she got was the crumbs is what she said

come all ya good people, throw yer dimes at my feet
i'll play you up a song here on ludlow street
if I could run a little faster I would catch that train
cause them cincinnati blues have got me out again

I grew up on the west end of town
up and down the river, just a-rambling around
in the morning you can find me as a factory hand
but in the evening im-a wailing like the kid cole man

well the street people walking and the tension is high
thinking they're so different like the sea and the sky
but when they all get together they got nothing to loose
when they hear us all a-singing cincinnati blues

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2010 chicken road music (ascap)

i aint got no home

i aint got no home no i'm just a-rambling round
just a wondering worker, i roam from town to town
the police make it hard wherever i may go
and i aint got no home in this world anymore

my brothers and my sisters they're stranded on this road
a hot and dusty road that a million feet have trod
the rich man took my home and drove me from my door
and i aint got no home in this world anymore

i mined in yer mines and i've gathered in yer corn
and i been working mister since the day that i was born
but now i worry all the time like i never did before
and i aint got no home in this world anymore

i was farming on the shares and always i was poor
the crops i laid into the bankers store
my wife took down and died upon that cabin floor
and i aint got no home in this world anymore

now as i look around it's mighty plain to see
this world is such a great and a funny place to be
the gambling man is rich while the working man is poor
and i aint got no home in this world anymore

written by woody guthrie

which side are you on?

come all you good workers, good news to you i'll tell
of how that good old union has come in here to dwell
which side are you on? which side are you on?

my daddy was a miner and i'm a miner's son
and i'll stick with the union til every battles won
which side are you on? which side are you on?

they say in harlan county there are no neutrals there
you'll either be a union man or a thug for j.h. blair
which side are you on? which side are you on?

don't scab for the bosses, don't listen to their lies
us poor folks haven't got a chance unless we organize
which side are you on? which side are you on?

written by florence reece

there is a road (route 50)

I have heard stories told of that old route 50 road
about three thousand miles or more, coast to coast and shore to shore
my dad's dad, his dad too, paved this road a whole state through
now i'm stuck here on the side of the road I long to ride

there is a road outside my door that sometimes calls my name
wind it starts a-shifting, thinking somethings about to change
now it's either east or west, how will I know my way
oh it's calling, calling me from my home

through the hills and through the pines, how that freedom road she winds
past the farms and through the towns, now you're ocean city bound
turn around the other way to that san francisco bay
she lies down, east to west, carved her name on america's chest

now you know i can not stay, gotta get out on my way
kiss me girl, i'm headed out, see what this land's all about
now some folks in washington want to cut out all the funds
so i'll go before she's gone, let that freedom road live on

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

stealin'

now put your arms around me like a circle round the sun
i want you to love me baby like my easy rider done
ya don't believe i love ya, what a fool i've been
cant believe i'm sinking in the hole i'm in

stealin' stealin' pretty momma don't you tell on me
i'm stealin' back to my same old used to be

i got me a woman, she's about my size and height
she's a married woman, you know she treats me alright
ya don't believe i love ya, what a fool i've been
cant believe i'm sinking in the hole i'm in

now put your arms around me like a circle round the sun
i want you to love me baby like my easy rider done
ya don't believe i love ya, what a fool i've been
cant believe i'm sinking in the hole i'm in

now i got me a woman, she's about my size and height
she's a married woman, she come to see me sometime
ya don't believe i love ya, what a fool i've been
cant believe i'm sinking look at the hole i'm in

the unpainted picture

the lady with the fiddle, the child in the basket
the lady with the fiddle, the baby in the cradle
playing in the wind, the woods are overgrown around them
its an unpainted picture that i see

29 years old, skin covering bone
one last breath in the back seat all alone
another guitar silenced, another mournful day
but your songs float into the sky and never pass away
its an unpainted picture that i see

the view of the sparrow above endless fields of corn
the dark box hidden in those fields of corn
i know who is sleeping, my old beloved friend
but my wings become broken and i miss her once again
its an unpainted picture that i see

a well hidden secret is carried through the ages
the keys to your cellar door in the hands of evil strangers
the laughing man controls you through his puppets on the stages
young girl sees her reflection and a battle softly rages
the criminals forget locked within their iron cages
and lies become truth in the history books pages
its an unpainted picture that i see

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2010 chicken road music (ascap)

rosie the riveter

grab yer hammer rosie
til the work is through
yer soldier boy is gone away
and now it's up to you, now it's up to you

well roll em up old rosie gal
roll em down the line
roll em up old rosie gal
it's almost quitting time, it's almost quitting time

well hold yer hand out rosie
go and grab yer pay
you'll get six while the man gets ten
working night and day, working night and day

well you can do it rosie
just as good as him
but when the war is over
go back home again, go back home again

lyrics by the tillers (c) 2010 chicken road music (ascap)

john henry

john henry when he was a baby
sitting on his pappy's knee
picked up a hammer in his little right hand saying
hammer be the death of me, hammer be the death of me

well some say he's born down in texas
some say he's born up in maine
i just say he's a louisiana man
leader of a steel driving chain gang, leader of a steal driving gang

well the captain said to john henry
im gonna bring my steam drill around
gonna bring my steam drill out on the job
i'll wop that steel on down, i'm gonna wop that steel on down

john henry said to the captain
you can bring your steam drill around
you can bring your steam drill out on the job
i'll beat your steam drill down, i'm gonna beat your steam drill down

john henry said to the shaker
shaker you had better pray
if you miss your six feet of steel
well tomorrow be your burying day, tomorrow be your burying day

now the shaker said to john henry
a man aint nothin' but a man
but before i let that steam drill beat us down
i believe i'd die with my hammer in my hand, i'd die with my hammer in my hand

john henry had a little woman
her name was polly anne
john henry took sick and laid up in bed
while polly anne drove steel like a man, polly anne drove steel like a man

they took john henry to the grave yard
laid him down in the sand
every locomotive come a-rolling by
hollering yonder lies a steel driving man, yonder lies a steel driving man

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2007

new york town

i was standing down a new york town one day
standing down a new york town one day
standing down a new york town one day
singing hey, hey, hey, hey

i was broke and i did not have a dime
i was broke and i did not have a dime
i was broke and i did not have a dime
singing hey, hey, hey, hey

every good man gets a little hard luck sometimes
every good man gets a little hard luck sometimes
every good man gets a little hard luck sometimes
singing hey, hey, hey, hey

well i'm a-gonna ride that new morning railroad
i'm a-gonna ride that new morning train
well now i'm a-gonna ride that new morning railroad
singing hey, hey, hey, hey

written by woody guthrie

darlin' corey

wake up, wake up darlin' corey
what makes you sleep so sound
them revenue officers are coming
gonna tear yer still house down

wake up, wake up darlin' corey
quit hanging around my bed
bad liquor had troubled my body
pretty women have gone to my head

now the first time i seen darlin' corey
on the banks of the deep blue sea
she'd a 45 buckled around her
and a banjo on her knee

now the last time i seen darlin' corey
she'd a dram glass in her hand
she was drinkin' down all of her troubles
with a low down gambling man

dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
dig a hole in the cold cold ground
dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
gonna lay darlin' corey down

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2007

i wish my baby was born

i wish, i wish my baby was born
and sitting on his pappa's knee
and me poor girl were dead and gone
and the green grass growing o'er my feet

i aint ahead nor never will be
till a sweet apple grows on a sour apple tree
but still i hope a time will come
when you and i will be as one

i wish, i wish my love had died
and sent her soul to wonder free
and we might need our ribbons five
let our poor bodies rest in peace

the owl, the owl is a lonely bird
it chills my heart with dread and terror
that someone's blood there on his wing
that someone's blood there on his feather

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2007

cardinal train 50-51

daddy's at the window, mother watches 'oer
sister tends to worry while brother's out the door
from that union station, on that east bound track
around the bend, against the wind and off into the black

one foot on the platform, one foot on the train
I found a place on houston street to dodge the freezing rain
don't keep it all inside son, don't keep it locked so tight
just get out that old banjo and ya keep 'em up all night

come on boys, try yer hand
down in the alley with the old tin pan
pull that bow and don't be slow
to ride that cardinal train

step into the city, the cars just flyin' by
steel wheels pound neath the underground where you'll try yer trade tonight
the green and grey cars junction deep down in the city's vein
so play it right with the fire inside to the whistle of the cardinal train

now daddy's still a carpenter while mothers laid to rest
sisters raising a family and that's what she does best
well i'm still out here ramblin' across the great divide
until that day when i'm home to stay in that sweet by and by

come on boys, try yer hand
down in the alley with the old tin pan
pull that bow and don't be slow
to ride that cardinal train

come on boys, the best you can
song in the heart and a fiddle in the hand
until you reach that glory land
to ride that cardinal train

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

i'll be callin'

well i'm callin' but you don't want no talkin'
well you only call me just to keep me hanging on
oh you build me up and then you knock me down
say you love me but you're doggin' me round
well i'm all mixed up, enough's enough
and you're driving me outta my mind

so i'll be callin' - hey! hey! - callin'
but you never answer, no you just don't seem to care
well the way you treat me really makes me sore
brings me down, I can't take no more
so i'm callin' you to say we're through
and to get you offa my mind

well it's late babe, and I just can't quit pacing
well I walk the floor with you all up in my head
I gotta troubled mind and a lonesome song
it'd be alright if you'd quit doing me wrong
so i'm asking you, what do I do?
and you're driving me outta my mind

well I guess i'm gonna go down into town yes
i'm gonna wait for my baby till she come strolling by
oh well, yes yes, wont ya look at that dress
well the way she walk, a bout to make me a mess
she pass me on by in the blink of an eye
no she never pay me no mind

so i'll be callin' - hey! hey! - callin'
but you never answer, no you just don't seem to care
well the way you treat me really makes me sore
brings me down, I can't take no more
so i'm callin' you to say we're through
and to get you offa my mind

i'll be callin' you to say we're through
and to get you offa my mind

lyrics by sean geil (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

lonesome day

today has been a lonesome day
today has been a lonesome day
today has been a lonesome day
and it looks like tomorrow be the same old way

have you ever heard a church bell toll
have you ever heard a church bell toll
have you ever heard a church bell toll
that's a sign that another good man done gone

you can dig my grave with a silver spade
you can dig my grave with a silver spade
you can dig my grave with a silver spade
lower me down with a golden chain

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2009

george street beat

well long ago there was a george street
and the people really moved their feet
see all the fellas go round and round with the ladies downtown
to the george street beat

through the dark and narrow alley
no time to dilly or to dally
and you know that when the west end calls like a steam boat bawls
you gotta go go go!

now that stove pipe, he really blows down there
and your kid man, will shake your rocking chair - shake it, just right there
you don't know what you're missing, so just stop here and listen
it sure gets hot in the kitchen, when you shake that
shake that george street beat

well long ago there was a rat row
up to third and east of sycamore
and in the evening every roustabout would surely step right out
to where the red lights glow

beneath the cover of the moonlight's
when the blues will make you feel alright
and you'd better get your best good gal or meet old mary pearl
by the picket's light, you might

well long ago there was a sweet sound
but anymore it surely can't be found
all things they rust, decay, the sound it makes it's way
back to the underground

beneath the cover of the moonlight
when the river's rollin' just right
you might hear that whistle blow like a sixth street moan
in your queen city night

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

take me down

take me down, won't you, take me down
spin round and round, my feet can't touch the ground
take me in your arms, my heart is breaking
in your eyes, in your eyes

in your eyes I loose my cool
the moments pound upon my brain
in the darkness of the room I wonder if we'll meet again
for i'm shipping out tomorrow to some far off distant land
on my own, on my own

side by side, that's how we've always been
and eye to eye, that's how we've always seen
but now my names been called, the war is raging
on and on, on and on

so lets talk about the good times, I don't wanna hurt no more
tell me that you love me as i'm walking out the door
and i'll write you every day you know you're always on my mind
on my mind, on my mind

think of me when you're all alone
i'll think of you and wish that I was home
and when the sun goes down i'll let the tears roll down my face
look up at the stars and wish that I could leave this place
and go home

lyrics by sean geil (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

lantern lullaby

see that baby crying so softly
she came to him, quiet in her arms
see that young boy playing the piano
daddy will teach him, teach him her songs

see them grow now, growing together
she does love him and he the same
times get harder, mommas so sick now
only she can take him, take him away

i'll have troubles everlasting
she will brighten up my day
take this lantern, carry it to the river
will she follow or will she stay

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

bed on the floor

big ol yodel!!!

make me a bed right down on yer floor
make me a bed right down on yer floor
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor

i'm a poor lonesome boy, i'm a long ways from home
i'm a poor lonesome boy, i'm a long ways from home
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor

clock striking midnight, daylight to go
clock striking midnight, daylight to go
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor

there's a sheriff on my trail with a big 44
there's a sheriff on my trail with a big 44
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor

bed on the floor, baby, bed on the floor
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor
i'll lay my head in a bed on yer floor

yodel big again!!!

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2009

mountain song

take away the city lights, leave me here all alone
once i lived a simple life, a long time ago
now the colors fading away, stars don't seem so bright
neon signs can oft disguise the peace of a quiet night

hear the song upon the mountain side
song on the wind and rain
oh to reap and never sew
who could say we've gained

can't you hear the auction man, can't you hear him call
can't you hear the pretty little bird, warning one and all
God bless the river wide, always for to roam
God bless the pretty little bird, a long ways from home

gone, gone the lovers tree
where our love did grow
gone, gone the wishing well
gone the soul of home

lyrics by michael oberst and sean geil (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

down at the bottom

I can see the clouds above fallin' over me
take me to the river side, wash my spirit clean
i'm a poor lonesome boy, i've wondered astray
but for all the lowdown things i've done i'm trying to find my way

when I was just a boy, my mother taught me right
now everything she ever said is weighing on my mind
for i've lived my life in sin, lord knows where i've been
take me to the river wide, drop me in again

i've been down this road once before
and I don't need these troubles anymore
take me to the river push me in
let the gentle waters wash away my sins

well i've drank and i've gambled, i've rambled around
through all my good timin' no peace I ever found
i'm down at the bottom, lord knows where i'm bound
if there's one light in this whole world i'm praying for it now

lyrics by sean geil (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

trouble in mind

trouble in mind, i'm blue
lord I won't be blue always
well the sun gonna shine in
my back door some day

i'm gonna lay my head
on some lonesome railroad line
let that 219 train
go by and ease my mind

trouble in mind, i'm blue
my poor heart is beating slow
ain't never had so much trouble
in my life before

i'm going down to the river
gonna drag me a rocking chair
if these blues don't leave me i'll just
rock on a ways from here

my good gal, she gonna quit me
and that sure don't please my mind
sometimes I feel like living
sometimes I feel like dying

trouble in mind, i'm blue
lord I won't be blue always
well the sun gonna shine in
my back door some day

oh the sun gonna shine in
my back door some day

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2009

ezekiel saw the wheel

ezekiel saw that wheel
way up in the middle of the air
ezekiel saw that wheel a whirling
way in the middle of the air

and the little wheel run by faith
and the big wheel run by the grace of God
and a wheel, and a wheel a whirling
way in the middle of the air

i'll tell ya what a hypocrite he'll do
way in the middle of the air
talk about me and he'll talk about you
way in the middle of the air

now brothers and sisters tell ya what ya gotta do
way in the middle of the air
join that union two by two
way in the middle of the air

i'll tell ya what a bootlegger he'll do
way in the middle of the air
sell you liquor and stick you with brew
way in the middle of the air

traditional adapted and arranged by the tillers 2009

blackout

when the lights go out and there's no one to celebrate
the oil gets gone and there's no lights to generate
i'll be sitting here so blue
so I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you

now some folks scared to death, worrying that the end is near
but us two could start something, me and you right here
if you got the notion I do
well I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you

baby when the blackout comes
and we ain't got nowhere to run
if ya got nothing to do
well I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you

when the world slows down and we come to find the things we need
baby i'd love to find you sitting next to me
we could light a candle for two
and I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you

now the moon is high and the stars are the only thing
the whiskey is dry and out for the evening
we could share a jar or two
cause I wouldn't mind to sit here and blackout with you

baby when the blackout comes
and we ain't got nowhere to run
if ya got nothing to do
well I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you

the old folks sit and reminisce of a time
when the only thing that mattered was a heart, hand and mind
and things were not so fast
so if it gets dark and the clock stops the beat
just get yourself on down the road to my lonely street
and you and I will get by

now the moon is low and the new day is coming soon
so lets sing a song even if you're kinda out of tune
we'll yodel like the cowboys do
and I wouldn't mind to spend this blackout with you
yodel-ey-heeeee....

lyrics by michael oberst (c) 2009 chicken road music (ascap)

there is enough

when I was just a young boy, my father said to me
always be an honest working man
from the east kentucky coal mines to the california sunshine
he said there is enough for us all

my daddy kept on working and he bought a modest home
it was there they raised a family
and he kept on working harder for his little son and daughter
so that there’d be enough for us all

there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
from the gleaming midnight cities to the humble family farms
there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
brothers, there is enough for us all

but now that I am older, with a family of my own
I wonder if my father’s dream is gone
when all the jobs are leaving, it gets hard to keep believing
oh that there is enough for us all

for the bounty of our nation has been swallowed by our greed
and there are no checks upon our appetites
deaf to other’s sorrow, living like there’s no tomorrow
oh but there is enough for us all

there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
from the colorado mountains to the hills of ohio
there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
sisters, there is enough for us all

my brothers and my sisters, won’t you listen to my song
live simply so that all may simply live
don’t let your souls be bought and sold because you have forgotten
that there is enough for us all

there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
from the mighty mississippi to the halls of washington
there is enough, (there is enough) there is enough for us all
brothers, there is enough for us all
sisters, there is enough for us all
people, there is enough for us all

lyrics by mark utley (c) 2009 sleep cat music (bmi)


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