Last Ride Lyrics

In the Dodge City yards of the Santa Fe stood a freight made up for the east
And the engineer with his oil and waste was grooming the great iron beast
While ten cars back in the murky dust a boxcar 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 partner's face stark white and deathly still
As the train wheels clicked on the coupling joints a song for the rambler's ear
The hobo talked to the still white form his pal for many a year

For a mighty long time we've rambled Jack wth the luck of men that roam
With the backdoor steps for a dining room and a boxcar for a home
We dodget the bulls on the eastern route and the cops on the Chesapeake
We traveled the Leadville narrow gauge in the days of Cripple Creek
We drifted down through sunny Cal on the rails of that old SP
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 cause you said that I was right
Well I'm keepin' my promise to you pal cause I'm taking you home tonight
I haven't the money to send you there so I'm taking you back on the fly
It's the decent way for a 'bo to go home to the by and by
I knew that that fever had you Jack and the doctor he just wouldn't come
He was too busy treatin' wealthy folks to doctor a worn out bum

As the train rolled over its ribbons of steel straight to the east it sped
The engineer in his highcab seat kept 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 who was taking his last long ride

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