Wednesday, August 19, 2009

MTA (Charlie on the MTA)

Words by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Hawes
I just learned that Bess Hawes died a few months ago, on November 27, 2009. She was a musician, performer (I know her from the Almanac singers, but she did much more) a guitar teacher, and folklorist.
Obituary 1
Obituary 2
Melody: traditional ("The Wreck of Old '97")
Rise Up Singing chapter: City, p.19

For a full story behind this song which explains my George/Walter confusion, go here:
And thanks to mbmcool for finding it.

G C / G D / G C / GD G
Now let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the M.T.A.

But did he ever return? No, he never returned
And his fate is still unlearned
He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned

Charlie handed in his dime at the Kendall square station
And he changed for Jamaica Plain
When he got there the conductor told him' "One more nickel!"
Charlie couldn't get off of that train

Now all night long Charlie rides through the tunnel
Thinking, "What will become of me?"
How can I afford to see my sister in Chelsea
Or my cousin in Roxbury?

Charlie's wife goes down to the Scollay Square station
Every day at quarter past two
And through the open window she hands Charlie a sandwich
As the train goes rumbling through

As his train rolled on underneath Greater Boston
Charlie looked around and sighed
"Well, I'm sore and disgusted and I'm absolutely busted
I guess this is my last long ride"

Now you citizens of Boston don't you think it's a scandal
That the people have to pay and pay?
Fight the fare increase: vote for George O'Brien! (Walter A. O'Brien!)
And get Charlie off the MTA

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