“The Little Red Caboose Behind the Train (V) (The Hobo Tramp)”


"I will sing you a little song, won't entertain you long, 'Bout the hoboes that promenade the streets." The hobos travel about, suffering in the cold, wishing they could be in the caboose.


According to Cohen, the Darby & Tarlton recording is the only version of this song not from a songster, and there are only a few print versions. There is no evidence that it ever went into tradition. On the other hand, the melody implies that it is one of the vast constellation of "red caboose" songs, so perhaps Cohen is right to include it in his book. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" (tune) and references there
  • cf. "Little Red Caboose Behind the Train (I), (II), (III), (IV)" (tune, structure)


  • (Tom) Darby & (Jimmie) Tarlton, "The Hobo Tramp" (Columbia 15293-D, 1928)


  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 382-384, "The Little Red Caboose behind the Train (II)" (2 texts; tune referenced)
  2. BI, LSRai382


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1892 (Delaney's _Collection of Songs_)