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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Wrinkles Lyr Req: 4th verse? City of New Orleans (18) RE: Lyr Req: 4th verse? City of New Orleans 31 Jan 05


Breezy I've got recordings of the Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie, John Denver, Jonny Cash, and Willie Nelson versions. All all slightly different (some more than others such as Denver's) but all 3 verses each.

The first time I heard about the "4th verse" was from festival organiser Geoff Harden who said he'd heard the 4th verse performed by Goodman, but not being a singer himself didn't recall the lyrics (knowing Geoff a verse may have only been repeated and he recalled the numbers of verses not their content ). Since then quite a few other folk over the years have asked or told me about the 4th verse's existence - if not its content - except for Geoff himself it was always FOAF stuff of course.

Some of those versions have musical bridges, but none with lyrics. I'd be very interested to know of a version that has a bridge with Lyrics ;-)

Personally, when I play it "straight", my version is very close indeed to the Arlo Gutherie version, the main alterations I make are changing "native son" to "native child" (in my cluture, and that of the audience I used to perform this tune for, a train is a "she", so "son" wasn't obviously the train; in the interests of clarity the "son" had to go. However "daughter" didn't fit so I settled for the genderless "child") and pronouncing "New Orleans" with a palatised N in "new" and "orleans" with 3 distinct vowels, a retroflex L, and nasalised final N which is closer to the francophone pronouciation of that City than the standard anglophone GA "or-leenz"

To get a bond with some audiences, I'd occasionally do a light hearted version and change "kankakee" to somewhere local with three syllables which ended in "ee" (eg; in Northern Ireland it became "Tandragee") and the 1st line of the refraim to "good morning _wherever_" ;-). This made it a good opening number when in new territory!

Back in those days I was club resident singer and frequently hired as a warm-up for a name, so songs one could use to get the audience listening and participating from the get-go were goddess sent for the job of leaving a primed receptive crowd for the headliner ;-)

Wrinkles


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