NINE HUNDRED MILES
Recorded by Woody Guthrie
Well I’m walkin’ down the track, I got tears in my eyes
Tryin’ to read a letter from my home
cho: If that train runs me right, I’ll be home tomorrow night
‘Cause it’s nine hundred miles where I’m goin’.
And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow
‘Cause I’m nine hundred miles from my home.
Well the train I ride on is a hundred coaches long
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
I will pawn you my watch, I will pawn you my chain
Pawn you my gold diamond ring.
Well if you say so, I will railroad no more
Sidetrack my train and come home.
From Best Loved American Folk Songs by John and Alan Lomax (1947):
“In its present form, this is a hillbilly blues. However, Woody Guthrie, the Okie balladeer and guitar-picker, learned it from a Negro shoeshine boy in his home town of Okema, Oklahoma. The tune has appeared in many disguises and has relations all over the South. In the tidewater country of Virginia, they call it the ‘Reuben Blues.'”