No Hobo’s Lullaby

“Hobo’s Lullaby” has always been one of my favorite songs. Here’s the other side of the romance.

My memory takes me back again
I was just a boy of ten
I’d lie in bed and listen to the whistle moan
While out on the rails at night
Under the hard starlight
They rode on cars that rolled right on by my home
Was it a picture show, some scene from long ago
Those hobos riding wild and free
Now it’s me that wears those clothes and I feel the same wind blow
But I just can’t find the melody

This ain’t no kind of rhapsody
No words or tune can comfort me
Out on the street some young kid cries
That ain’t no hobo’s lullaby

Down in the bummer’s camp, where it was raw and damp
All of the fellas gathered round
And when an old boy died, they’d raise their cups on high
And toast a life that never got tied down
I guess things are different now, it’s not the same somehow
Pardon me if I don’t sing along
Cause the old ones die, that’s still true
But now there’s the young ones too
That never got the chance to learn the song


I must be getting old – these streets are wet and cold
I spend the day just looking for a bed
Now someone explain to me, just where’s the dignity
In not knowing where to lay your head
Those on the streets, they say, they like to live that way
You couldn’t change ‘em if you tried
It’s just one big romance, I’ve heard that song and dance
Buddy, it ain’t nothing but a lie


Not when you hear some young kid cry
Buddy, that ain’t no hobo’s lullaby

© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.


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