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City of Old Subways

Words © 1992 Avram Grumer
Tune: "City of New Orleans" by Steve Goodman


Ridin' on the number two express train,
West side southbound, Monday morning rush.
Fifteen seats for every hundred riders,
Smaller folks get trampled in the crush.

For half an hour, in the sun, the train's been stalled at Allerton,
Air conditioning has been shut off.
Passengers, by threes and fours, are cramming through the closing doors,
And the smokers make me rub my eyes and cough.

Chorus:
Good morning, New York, what's your problem?
So's yer mom, up yours, and same to you!
'Cause I'm riding in the city of old subways;
I'll be gone a half a mile in an hour or two.

Old man begs for nickels, dimes, and quarters;
With the recession, no-one's giving more.
He'll just use the cash to buy a bottle.
We can feel the train tracks crumbling 'neath the floor.

And the infant sons and daughters brought along can make the ride
Seem much more like a nightmare than a dream.
Mothers with their babes awake, wishing they could get a break
From the way the kids all blubber, wail, and scream.

Chorus

Now we're stopping right before Penn Station,
I've changed trains three times so far this ride.
Been so long that it's no longer morning.
Train's almost there, but I'm still stuck inside.

Still stopped, the conductor tries to tell us all the reason why,
But passengers can't understand the news;
The speakers sing their song again:
"Grapfengop mil burb neprem,"
This train's got the underfunded railroad blues.

Chorus

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Contents ©1996-2018 Avram Grumer (avram@grumer.org)
Last updated: Wed, 31 Dec 1969, 04:00 PM EST