HOBO LIFE

(DAVE McCARN)

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

This song written by McCarn for his second session for Victor [Memphis, TN, Nov 19, 1930], is similar in tune and text to the more well-known RAILROAD BOOMER.

A hobo song containing the usual warnings against taking up the hobo life but with the usual braggadocio that hobos were a breed apart.

Mike Paris, liner notes for "Singers of the Piedmont,", Folk Variety FV 15505, 1970s.

Lyrics as transcribed ibid.

Traveled o'er the earth for ages,
I've crossed the waters deep and wide;
I never thought to save my wages
Till the sweetest part of life rolled by.
I never had a thought to marry,
I never even had a girl.
I only thought of roaming yonder,
To the other side of the world.
I never had a happy moment,
I roamed around all my life
The best of my days I wasted,
I'll never have a loving wife.
I'm standing on a long steel railroad,
But I'm moving on today.
I hear a freight train a-coming,
I'll soon be on my way.
I never like to ask a favor,
But remember me when I die,
And bury me beside a railroad track
So I can hear the trains roll by.

When you take a rambling fever,
Don't you ever start to roam,
But go to work and save your money,
And you'll always have a home.
Don't be a tired and hungry hobo
Always on the long steel rail.
You'll have to sleep beneath the shade trees
You'll have to sleep in dirty jails.
You'll never have a happy moment,
You'll always be on the pad;
When you get old and grizzled,
What you've missed will make you sad.
Now take my advice, young fella,
And don't you take the road to trouble.
For I hear a freight train a-coming,
I'll soon be rolling along.
I never like to ask a favor,
But remember when I die
And bury me beside a railroad track
So I can hear the trains go by.

TO TOP OF PAGE
TO DAVE McCARN PAGE
TO TRAMPS, HOBOES, MIGRANTS PAGE
TO I. W. W. PAGE
TO HISTORY IN SONG PAGE
TO STARTING PAGE

You can email me at
manfredh@mainz.netsurf.de