Good morning America how are you…

singing "The City of New Orleans"

singing “The City of New Orleans”

Friday afternoon – I’m standing at the cashier paying for a book, when I hear an incredible voice singing…

Freitagnachmittag – ich stehe gerade an der Kasse, um ein Buch zu bezahlen, als ich eine unglaubliche Stimme singen höre…

Riding on the City of new Orleans, Illinois central Monday morning rail

Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders, three conductors and twenty five sacks of mail.

All along the southbound Odyseey, the train pulls out of Kankakee

And rolls along the houses, farms and fields

Passing towns that have no name, freight yards full of old black men

And the graveyards of rusted automobiles.

…I have to rush out to see and hear who’s singing…

…ich eile heraus, weil ich sehen und hören muss, wer da singt….

Good morning America, how are you

Say, don’t you know me I’m your native son.

I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans

I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Flashback: Sometime in the ’70ies, I’m attending Elementary school in Santa Monica, California. It’s Friday after lunch, when my teacher, Mr. A., gathers our class an all the other 5th graders in the auditorium…

Rückblende: In den ’70igern, ich gehe in die Grundschule in Santa Monica, Kalifornien. Es ist gleich nach dem Mittagessen am Freitagnachmittag, als Mr. A, mein Klassenlehrer, unsere Klasse und und alle übrigen 5. Klässler der Parallelklassen in der Aula versammelt…

Dealing card games with the old men in the club car

penny a point ain’t no one keeping score

Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle

Feel the wheels grumbling ‘neath the floor.

And the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers

Ride their father’s magic carpet made of steel

Mothers with their babes asleep, are rocking to the gentle beat

And the rhythm of the rail is all they feel.

…All of us are sitting down on the auditorium’s floor and Mr. A. takes out his guitar and starts playing…

…Wir setzen uns alle auf dem Fussboden der Aula hin und Mr. A. nimmt seine Gitarre heraus und spielt…

Good morning America, how are you

Say, don’t you know me I’m your native son.

I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans

I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

…an overhead projector projects the words of all the songs to a wall and about 100 students are joining in…

…ein Beamer wirft alle Liedertexte an eine Wand und ungefähr 100 Kinder singen mit…

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans

Changing cars in Memphis Tennessee

Half way home we’ll be there in the morning

Through the Mississippi darkness rolling down to the sea

But all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream

And the steel rail still ain’t heard the news

The conductor sings his songs again, the passengers will please refrain

This train got the disappearing railroad blues.

…including me, a little German girl, who only knew these songs from the radio. I loved our Friday sing-along-hours better than any other classes during the week, because these songs were so different from those I had learned in my German school. The words to many songs stuck till today.  AND I can still “pledge allegiance to the Flag…” and know the words of the American National Anthem by heart…     😉

inclusive mir, einem kleinen deutschen Mädchen, das diese Lieder nur aus dem Radio kannte. Diese Freitagnachmittag-Mittsing-Stunden waren mir die liebsten in der Woche, denn die Lieder waren so völlig anders als all die, die ich in meiner deutschen Schule gelernt hatte. Die Liedertexte sind mir in Erinnerung geblieben. Ich kann heute sogar noch das Treue-Gelöbnis auf die Flagge und die amerikanisch Nation und den Text der amerikanischen Nationalhymne auswendig…      😉

Good morning America, how are you

Say, don’t you know me I’m your native son.

I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans

I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done. 

…but City of New Orleans* remains my favorite. I have no idea who the girl with the incredible voice was, but I had to sit down and listen to her for a while. Her voice was amazing and she really made my day     🙂

…aber City of New Orleans* ist mein Lieblingslied aus der Zeit. Ich weiss leider nicht, wer das Mädchen mit der wunderbaren Stimme war, aber ich musste ihr für ein Weilchen lauschen. Ihre Stimme war einfach unglaublich und hat mir wirklich Freude bereitet      🙂

      🙂       I hope your day is just as good!      🙂

      🙂      Ich hoffe Ihr Tag ist genauso schön!     🙂

*City of New Orleans was composed by Steve Goodman and was his biggest success. He died at the age of 34 in 1984 due to leukemia.  Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson made this song famous.

*City of New Orleans wurde von Steve Goodman komponiert und war sein größter Erfolg. Er verstarb mit nur 34 Jahren 1984 an Leukämie. Berühmt gemacht haben das Lied Arlo Guthrie und Wille Nelson.  

8 Comments
  • viveka
    August 25, 2013

    Beautiful post … and how you connect your today life with the young singer and your youth.
    Just love how you have done it .. with the lyrics and your story. Beautiful done.

    • happyface313
      August 25, 2013

      Thank you, dear Viveka!
      Her voice went straight to my heart and I needed a Kleenex… Was happy I was wearing my sunglasses 😉
      Have a very HAPPY Sunday xo 🙂

  • happyface313
    August 25, 2013

    Thank you. It WAS touching when I heard her sing. She had a voice that went right straight to the heart!
    You lucky girl – one whole month in America!! I envy you. When and where? We need to see each other!!!
    Have a lovely and very HAPPY Sunday xo 🙂

  • happyface313
    August 25, 2013

    Thank you very much, Anne!
    That’s a wonderful idea – I’d be very happy to meet you, too! 🙂 xo

  • wendy@chezchloe
    August 25, 2013

    Great post. Now I’m curious about the back story of you in Santa Monica! Let’s hear more.

    • happyface313
      August 25, 2013

      Thanks! Ah, well, Santa Monica…ages ago, loved it tremendously (apart from the earth quakes, yikes!)
      More stories? We’ll get there some time 😉 I have to start digging out old pictures and ask my family for more 🙂
      Have a very HAPPY week and tschüß 🙂

  • happyface313
    August 25, 2013

    Thank you, my dear 🙂
    But this must sound familiar to you, too??
    Big hugs back xo 🙂

  • happyface313
    August 25, 2013

    My pleasure! 🙂
    Yes, I think it is great for any person to live abroad for a while to learn about other cultures. As kids we adopt and learn other languages a lot easier. I’m really happy that I was given the chance 🙂
    Have a lovely week 🙂

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