Elizabeth Cotten Lyrics


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The lyrics from the linernotes of Elizabeth Cotten Vol.3
(Folkways Records Album No. FA 3537
(c)1979 by Folkways Records & Service Corp.,41 West 61st.,NYC USA 10023)





FREIGHT TRAIN
(c) 1957 by Elizabeth Cotten. Sanga Music


Chorus:
Freight train, Freight train, run so fast
(rep.)
Please don't tell what train I'm on
They won't know what route I've gone
When I am dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Place the stones at my head and feet
Tell them all that I've gone to sleep.

When I die, Lorde, bury me deep
Way down on old Chestnut street
Then I can hear old Number 9
As she comes rolling by.






(The belows are from Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes linernotes by Mike Seeger)



When Eliazbeth Cotten and her brothers were playing music together each would have songs that they called they own, and this was one of that she made up and sung as hers, It was one of the few she ever composed herself and was lergely inspired by the train running near her home. She sung the song in washington and it was subsequently popularized by Peggy Seeger, Nancy Whiskey and Rusty Draper.



"We used to watch the freight train. We knew the fireman and the breakman...and the conductor, my mother used to launder for him. They'd let us ride in the engine...put us in one of the coaches while they were backing up and changing...that was how I got my first train ride."

"We used to walk the trestle and put our ear to the track and listen for the train to come. My brother, he'd wait for the train to get real close and then he'd hang down from one of the ties and swing back up after the train had passed over him."

















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