Joe Jencks

Song of the Rails

from What Kind Of Brother

Written: 07/1998 at Puget sound Guitar Workshop, in honor of my good friend Phil Amadon. Thank you for all of the living lessons, and for teaching me pride in a job well done.

Well if you have a minute John I sure feel like hell
The union vote is coming up and things aren't looking well
You know I'd like to stand up for the things that I believe
But it seems that my life's not as simple as it used to be

I was born in Tulsa back in 1951
They say that I could drive a spike before I learned to run
In a land of dust and corn the rails spoke a steel trugh
The men that kept them working were the heroes of my youth
For they sang

Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway
Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway



When I was a young man and I thought to run away
The freight train it came through out town and I got on one day
I rode it down to Gallup and then back to Santa Fe
Everywhere I listened I could hear the railway workers singin'

Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway
Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway



In 1969 I met a sould to match my life
But her father said that I must have a job to take a wife
And so I looked around at all the work that I might do
And found that it was time for me to sing the only song I knew

Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway
Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway



Now we have five children and they bring me joy each day
But the bills keep getting higher and I've nothing left to pay
The union says that we must strike and stand up don't you see
But I've just got too damn many people who depend on me

Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway
Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway



At the heart of every worker is the welfare of his kin
And to walk away from pay that's good it seems is such a sin
The bosses they don't understand how hard I work each night
But I've got mouths to feed and so I'll do my part 'til daylight
singin'

Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway
Come-diddle-liddle-aye-do-aye-day
Workin' for the railway


© 1998 Joe Jencks

updated: 8 years ago