THE RECKLESS HOBO (RICHARD D. BURNETT) (c. 1913)


Richard D. Burnett

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Lyric as published in "Songs Sung by R.D. Burnett. The blind man. Monticello - - - Kentucky" (c. 1913), reprinted in "Old Time Music 10," Autum 1973, p. 11.

A rambling, reckless Hobo
Left his happy home,
Started on a Western trip
By himself alone,
He said, upon this western trip
I guess I'll have some fun;
Standing at a station house
This is the song he sung:
Standing on a platform
Smoking a cheap cigar,
Waiting for a freight train
To catch an empty car
Thinking of those good old times
Wishing they'd come again;
I'm a thosand miles away from home,
Bumming a railroad train.

Kind Miss, kind Miss,
Won't you give me a bite to eat,
A little piece of cold corn bread
A little piece of meat?
She threw her arms around me
Say I'll love you as a friend,
But if I give to you this time
You'll be bumming around again.

Kind Miss, kind Miss,
Don't talk to me so rough;
You think I am a hobo
Because I look so tough.
She took me in her kitchen,
She treated me nice and kind,
She put me in the notion
Of bumming all the time.

When I left her kitchen
I went strolling down in town,
I heard a double-header blow,
I thought it was Western bound.
I walked out to the railroad,
Out to the railroad shop;
I heard the agent tell a man
The freight train would not stop.
My heart began to rove around
And I began to sing
If that freight train goes through this town
I'll catch it on the wing.
I pulled my cap down over my eyes
And walked out to the track
And caught the stirrup of [an] empty car
And never did look back.

I got off in Danville,
Got stuck on a Danville girl.
You bet your life she's out of sight
She wears that Danville curl.
She wears her hair on the back of her head
Like high toned people do,
But if a west-bound train pulls out tonight
I'll bid that girl adieu.
Now I am in your city, boys,
Trying to do what is right;
Don't think because I'm a railroad boy
That I'm not all right.

My pocketbook is empty,
My heart is filled with pain;
Ten thosand miles away from home.
Bumming a railroad train.

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