Nine Hundred Miles

DESCRIPTION: "I'm a walking down the track, I've got tears in my eyes, Trying to read a letter from my home. If that train runs me right I'll be home tomorrow night." The singer will pawn anything or do whatever is needed to get home (to his sweetheart)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (JAFL)
KEYWORDS: train love separation home
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 503-517, "Reuben's Train/Train 45/900 Miles" (2 texts plus exceprts equivalent to about three more, 2 tunes; the first text is close to "Reuben's Train," the second to "Nine Hundred Miles," but the article is mostly devoted to showing how the two songs mix)
BrownIII 285, "The Midnight Dew" (1 text, with an unusual introductory verse but most of the rest goes here)
BrownSchinhanV 285, "The Midnight Dew" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
JonesLunsford, p. 236, "Reuben" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rosenbaum, p. 79. "Seventy-four" (1 text, 1 tune, beginning with a "Five hundred miles from my home" stanza and with many verses which appear to float); p. 173, "Five Hundred Miles" (1 text, 1 tune, possibly influenced by Hedy West's version)
McNeil-SMF, pp. 165-168, "Reuben" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 73, "900 Miles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-RailFolklr, p. 464, "900 Miles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 53, "Nine Hundred Miles" (1 text)
DT, MILES900

Roud #4959
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson "I'm Nine Hundred Miles from Home" (OKeh 40196, 1924)
George & Bobby Childers, "Five Hundred Miles" (on FolkVisions2)
Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston, "Nine Hundred Miles" (on AschRec2)
Riley Puckett, "Nine Hundred Miles from Home" (Columbia 15563-D, 1930)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Rain and Snow" (opening lines of tune)
cf. "Reuben's Train"
NOTES: Some versions of "Reuben's Train," such as the Grayson/Whitter "Train 45" recording, are so mixed with this song that it's literally impossible to tell whether they are versions of this song or that; those interested should consult the references to both songs. - RBW
"Five Hundred Miles," composed by Hedy West and popular in the 1960s folk revival, is essentially a rewrite of this song with a different tune, but several overlapping verses. - PJS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LxU073

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