Railroad Bill

(Etta Baker version)

Words & Music:

Traditional American


Etta Baker's version of this song is iconic and transcribed in the February 2007 issue of Acoustic Guitar.  Well worth learning!



Well, Railroad Bill, Railroad Bill,

E7                     F

He never worked and he never will,

C     G     C

Ride, ride, ride.


Railroad Bill, Railroad Bill,

Live way up on Railroad Hill.

Ride, ride, ride.


Well, Railroad Bill, he was a mighty mean man.

He shot the midnight lantern out of the brakeman's hand.

Ride, ride, ride.


Well, Railroad Bill, he took my wife.

He said if I didn't like it he would take my life.

Ride, ride, ride.


I'll buy me a pistol just as long as my arm

Kill everybody ever done me harm

Ride, ride, ride


Well, I'm going up on a mountain, I'm going out West,

A .38 Special stickin' out of my vest.

Ride, ride, ride.


I got a .38 Special on a .45 frame.

How in the world can I miss him when I got dead aim?

Ride, ride, ride.


Well, honey, honey, do you think I'm a fool?

I wouldn't quit you when the weather is cool.

Ride, ride, ride.

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