Gun Club: "Railroad Bill" (from the "Birth The Death The Ghost" album)


 

intro = verse


D
Railroad Bill, Railroad Bill
F#m                     G
he never worked and he never will
 D     A     D
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = verse


Early one morning, standing in the rain
round the curve come a long freight train
ride, ride, ride

Railroad Bill, so mean and so bad
whupped his mummy, shot around with his dad
ride, ride, ride

instrumental = verse


Railroad Bill a-comin' home soon
killed McMillan by the light of the moon
ride, ride, ride

McMillan had a special train
when he got there it was prayin'
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = verse


Kill me a chicken, send me the wing
they think I'm workin', Lord, I ain't doin' a thing
ride, ride, ride

Kill me a chicken, send me the head
think I'm workin', Lord, I'm layin' in bed
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = verse


Railroad Bill's a mighty bad man
shot the light out right of that brakeman's hand
ride, ride, ride

Got a great long pistol about as long as your arm
Im gonna shoot everybody ever done me harm
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = verse


Railroad Bill standing on a hill
lightin' cigars with a ten-dollar bill
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = 2 verses


Got a thirty-eight-special on a forty-five frame
how can I miss when I got dead aim
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = 2 verses


Railroad Bill's a mighty bad man
shot the light out right of that brakeman's hand
ride, ride, ride

Gonna drink my whiskey, drink it in the wind
the doctor said it'd kill me but he didn't say when
ride, ride, ride


instrumental = verse


(note: JLP turned this classic folk blues tune into an excessive punk rock
song, thereby changing the key by one half note higher and also leaving out the
minor chord (he just plays D#,G#,D#,A#,D#). There are several versions around (e.g.
by Hobart Smith, Cisco Huston) with different and similar lyrics and so is JLPs
version another variation of the theme,  but Im not able to transcribe exactly
his words. So here is an extended version by Rambling Jack Elliot with
the original chords, which provides a sufficient collection of verses as used
also throughout other versions)

Lyrics and guitar tabs