> Folk Music > Songs > Five Hundred Miles

Five Hundred Miles / Nine Hundred Miles

[ Roud 4959 ; Ballad Index LxU073 ; Hedy West]

Nine Hundred Miles is a lament of a traveller far from home that is from the beginning of the last century or earlier.

Hedy West rewrote this song as Five Hundred Miles with a different tune but several overlapping verses, and recorded it in 1963 for her eponymous album on the Vanguard label, Hedy West. It was a big hit for the Kingston Trio and for Peter, Paul & Mary in 1962.

Jon Boden sang Five Hundred Miles as the January 6, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. His last verse about Tienanmen Square was written by The Hooters, on their 1989 album Zig Zag.

The Urban Folk Quartet sang Five Hundred Miles in 2015 on their album The Escape.

Lyrics

Cisco Houston sings Nine Hundred Miles

I'm walking down the track, I've got tears in my eyes,
I'm trying to read a letter from my home.

Chorus:
And if this train runs me right I'll be home Saturday night
'Cause I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
Lord, I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

This train I ride on is a hundred coaches long,
Well, you can hear her whistle blow a million miles.

Chorus:
And if this train runs me right I will see my woman on Saturday night
'Cause I'm nine hundred miles from my home.
Lord, I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow.

I will pawn you my way guns and I will pawn you my tee,
I'll pawn you my watch and my chain.

Repeat first chorus

Hedy West sings Five Hundred Miles

If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
Hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles.
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

If my honey said so, I'd railroad no more,
I'd sidetrack my engine and go home.
And go home, and go home, and go home, and go home.
I'd sidetrack my engine and go home.

Lord, I'm one, Lord, I'm two, Lord, I'm three, Lord, I'm four,
Lord, I'm five hundred miles away from home.
Away from home, away from home, away from home, away from home,
Lord, I'm five hundred miles away from home.

I told my little Ella, just as plain as I could tell her
That she'd better come along and go with me.
Go with me, go with me, go with me, go with me;
She'd better come along and go with me.

My clothes are all worm and my shoes are all torn,
Lord, I can't make a livin' this a-way.
This a-way, this a-way, this a-way, this a-way,
Lord, I can't make a livin' this a-way.

If this train runs on right, I'll be home tomorrow night,
For I'm coming down the line on Number Nine.
Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine,
For I'm coming down the line on Number Nine.

Not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name,
Lord, I can't go back home this a-way.
This a-way, this a-way, this a-way, this a-way
Lord I can't go back home this a-way.

If you miss the train I'm on, You will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
Hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles.
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

Jon Boden sings Five Hundred Miles

If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone,
Lord I`m five hundred miles from my home.
One hundred miles, two hundred miles, three hundred miles, four hundred miles,
Lord I`m five hundred miles from my home.

Not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name,
And I can't go home this-a-way,
This-a-way, this-a-way, this-a-way, this-a-way,
And I can't go home this-a-way.

A hundred tanks across the square, one man stands and stops them there,
Someday soon the tide will turn and I'll be free,
I'll be free, I'll be free, I'll go home to my country,
Someday soon the tide will turn and I'll be free.

One hundred miles, two hundred miles, three hundred miles, four hundred miles,
Lord I`m five hundred miles from my home.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread 900 Miles/500 miles.