Old City Jail

When I first came around to this city,
I was working my way by the track,
Took a job from a man
with some coin in his hand
But the job put the law on my back

So they hauled me on down to the courthouse,
And the judge didn't like me at all,
Ninety days in a cell
and he fined me as well.
Left me in here behind these old walls.

Now I wish I were out on the railway,
I remember back working the rails,
When McHale gave a shout
and the hammers rang out,
Now it's only this old city jail.

Oh, the life it was tough I can tell ya,
And the going got rough as could be,
But a dollar a day put a nip in your te',
And it's better than working for free.

When I went to my rest in the evening,
I could look past the stars overhead,
Now the light from the lamp
and the smell of the damp,
Are all that are left me instead.

Now I wish I were out on the railway,
I remember back working the rails,
When McHale gave a shout
and the hammers rang out,
Now it's only this old city jail.

When I dream now I dream of the engines,
Pulling by me in elegant style,
And the sound of the maul,
the old work whistle's call
And four hundred rails to the mile.

Oh, I think the old generation,
Of the crews and the tri-level cars,
How I wish I were back
on that Old Northern track,
And to hell with these rusty old bars.

Now I wish I were out on the railway,
I remember back working the rails,
When McHale gave a shout
and the hammers rang out,
Now it's only this old city jail.

Words and music by Bill Staines
© Mineral River Music (administered by Bug Music)/BMI