Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Hobo Bills Last Ride(or Hobo Bill)

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Hobo Bill's Last Ride (or Hobo Bill)

Hobo Bill's Last Ride (Or Hobo Bill)
(Words & tune Waldo O'Neal, 1929)

1/4 note = 136              Original Key: C

         C     G7              C
     Ho_______ bo ________    Bil-ly.

C             F                    C
     Riding on an east-bound freight train, speeding through the night,

     F             C                  D7                   G
     Ho-bo Bill, a rail-road bum, was fight-ing for___ his life;

         C        C7       F                C
     The sad-ness of his eyes- re-vealed__ the tor-ture of_ his soul,

         F                 C                D7        G7     C
     He raised a weak_ and wea-ry hand__ to brush a-way_ the cold.__
[Yodel:] Hobo Billy.
Riding on an eastbound freight train, speeding through the night,
Hobo Bill, a railroad bum, was fighting for his life,
The sadness of his eves revealed the torture of his soul,
He raised a weak and weary hand to brush away the cold.
[Yodel:] Hobo Billy.

No warm lights flickered around him, no blankets there to fold,
Nothing but the howling wind and the driving rain so cold,
When he heard a whistle blowing in a dreamy kind of' way,
The hobo seemed contented, for he smiled there where he lay.
[Yodel:] Hobo Billy.

Outside the rain was falling on that lonely boxcar door,
But the little form of Hobo Bill lay still upon the floor,
While the train sped through the darkness and the raging storm outside,
No one knew that Hobo Bill was taking his last ride.

It was early in the morning when they raised the hobo's head,
The smile still lingered on his face, but Hobo Bill was dead;
There was no mother's longing to soothe his weary soul,
He was nothing but a railroad bum who died out in the cold.

Written specifically for Jimmie Rogers & first recorded by him 11/13/29.
Many others have recorded it - Gene Autry & Frankie Marvin & Cisco Houston
twice for folkways, with and without the yodel.

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III