Good morning America, how are you?
Don't you know me, I'm your native son
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone 500 miles by the day is done
Whenever I hear City of New Orleans it brings me back. I love its travelogue images of a mostly vanished America as the City of New Orleans rolls from Chicago to its namesake city. Composed in 1971 by Steve Goodman, it became the only Top 40 hit of Arlo Guthrie's career. Covered by many artists over the years (including an award-winning version by Willie Nelson in the 1980s) it retains its power to move.
Steve Goodman died of leukemia in 1984, at the age of 36. A rabid Chicago Cubs fan and composer of several songs about the team, including A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request, he never got his wish fulfilled during his lifetime. We hope he is happy now.