“Waiting For a Train (II)”

Author: Jimmie Rodgers
Earliest date: 1929 (recording, Jimmie Rodgers)
Keywords: loneliness poverty rejection rambling train travel hobo
Found in: US

Description

Singer waits to hop a train. A brakeman tells him that if he has money "I'll see that you don't walk," then puts him off the train in Texas. "My pocketbook is empty/And my heart is filled with pain/I'm a thousand miles away from home/Waiting for a train"

Long description

Singer, a hobo, is out in the rain waiting for a train to hop. A brakeman tells him that if he has money "I'll see that you don't walk." He has no money; the brakeman slams the boxcar door, then puts him off the train in Texas. "My pocketbook is empty/And my heart is filled with pain/I'm a thousand miles away from home/Waiting for a train"

Notes

This composed song seems to be moving into oral tradition, both Anglo- and Afro-American (blues singer Furry Lewis used to perform it); Mississippi John Hurt used its melody for "Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me." - PJS

Same tune

Cross references

Recordings