I climbed on board through a wide open door
Just as she started to roll,
And I rode so light through the long summer night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.
Many a night I've sat by the fire
In a circle of stone silent men,
And heard the sagebrush whistle and pop
And the coffee boil in the can.
The bottoms were filled with a cool river wind
And the treetops chasing the moon
And I knew without saying to take my guitar
And play up some slow gentle tune.
I played up a face I knew long ago
And the song was the sound of a name,
I knew without looking that every man there
Was each of them doing the same.
Then I played up some hands so pale and small
With a touch as light as the rain,
And I knew without looking that every man there
Was each of 'em feeling the same.
Then I played up the booze and the holes in the shoes
Of a man whose life is a cage,
And all the things done to make a man run,
The hard luck and failures of age -
Then I stopped with a crash - we looked into the ash,
Helpless with longing and rage.
Now a traveling life might seem all right,
A life without worry or care;
Always up and always out and always going somewhere,
But I'll tell you, friend-it's not where you are
But your reason for being there.
And then I awoke as the day broke,
And gazed out over the plain,
Thinking as how I'm better off now
Being in love with a train.