From the recording Junction City
It’s ten degrees. I’m ten years old, and it’s two in the afternoon as I watch my breath inside the big train station. I think about my mother – why’d she go so soon, and why my father she never cared to mention. There’s more kids here than I can count though each is all alone as we all wave our old homes goodbye. And though I am scared you can’t see it in my eyes. I’ve come way to far way to fast to cry. So get on board child if you’re hungry. Get on board children of the street. Where we’re going it flows milk and honey. Get on board the orphan train. Get on board. I’d never been aboard a train and I remember how that I took some comfort to hear the big wheels rolling. I prayed upon the future as the day turned to night, and fell asleep with no way of knowing where I would be when the sun came up or what would I do if no one there cared to take me in. They said there’s plenty enough families who want kids like you, just no guarantees where you’ll be taken. The first town came and went. The next one did the same. I’d wash my face and comb my hair. It didn’t matter. Before too long there’s nothing left , nothing but the shame of being ran out and shown like a herd of cattle, just waiting for someone to call your name. Won’t someone please call my name? Finally I found a home in Danville Illinois. The rest were sent further on down the line. A gray hair farmer and his wife said they were looking for a boy. Showed them me. Said “he’ll do fine.” How it worried me that all they’d need was a pair of working hands. Would they love me? Would they even try? But oh how they loved me, and as she put me to bed my fears gave way and I began to cry. So get on board child if you’re hungry. Get on board children of the street. Where we’re going it flows milk and honey. Get on board the orphan train. Get on board. Get on board. Get on board. Get on board.