From ginmar's journal (previously from twistedchick?), posted here in buzzflash ... a new version of the song.
I can't read it without getting moist eyes.
A new version was obviously called for; here it is.
Bearing on the City of New Orleans,
Katrina – massive Force Five hurricane -
The order comes to flee the helpless city,
Take the kids and run from the coming gale.
All along the northbound odyssey
The folk pull out and try to flee
Rollin' long past houses, farms and fields.
Leaving those that have no means,
Women, children, old black men,
In the graveyard of America's ideals.
Good morning America where are you?
Don't you know, we're begging you to come?
We're the town they call the City of New Orleans,
There'll be thousands of us dead ere day is done.
The dead lie with the living in the Stadium.
And more arrive – ain't no one keepin' score.
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the whole world crumblin' ‘neath the floor.
And the sons of Pullman porters,
Daughters of engineers,
Hide their fears ‘neath the mighty roof of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep,
Are rockin' to a deafening beat
For the hurricane's horror's all they feel.
Nighttime in the City of New Orleans,
This is not the way things ought to be.
Help you say it should be here by morning,
But it's four days now. We're dying,
Can't you see?
And all the stricken people scream
– If only this could be a dream –
And the ruling class still ain't heard the news.
The Pres'dent sings his song again,
“You citizens, please stay calm.”
This town's got the disappearing gov'ment blues.
Good night America, where were you?
Don't you know, we all begged you to come?
We're the ghosts that haunt the City of New Orleans,
We were abandoned here. Our day is done.
6 September 2005
By Keith McKenry