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(a prisoner song, probably by Huddie Ledbetter; learned at the Midnight Special on KPFA and at Teton Tea Parties;
-the Midnight Special was a train that used to pass by the prison;
-it was supposedly a good omen for a prisoner if the train's headlight shone on them)

(music to go here)

Well, you wake up in the mornin', hear the ding-dong ring,
You go marchin' to the table, see the same damn thing,
Well, it's on the table, knife and fork and a pan,
If you say a thing about it, you're in trouble with the man.
    Let the Midnight Special shine its light on me,
    Let the Midnight Special shine its everlovin' light on me.

Yonder comes Miss Rosie, how'n the world do you know?
Well, I know her by her apron, and the dress she wore.
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece o' paper in her hand,
She goes marchin' to the captain, says, I want my lifetime man.
    Let the Midnight Special...

Well, yonder's Doctor Melton, how'n the world do you know?
'Cause he gave me a tablet on the day before.
Well, there never was a doctor travelled by sea or land
What could cure the fever of a convict man.
    Let the Midnight Special...

Now Rosie said she loved me, but I believe that was a lie,
'Cause she ain't been to see me since away last July.
She brought me a little coffee, she brought me a little tea,
She brought me just 'bout everything but that jailhouse key.
    Let the Midnight Special...

I'm goin' away to leave you, and my time ain't long.
The man is gonna call me, and I'm goin' home.
Then I'll be done all grievin', whoopin', hollerin' and a-cryin',
Then I'll be done all my studyin' 'bout my great long time.
    Let the Midnight Special...

Now if you go to Houston, man, you better walk right,
Oh, you better not stagger, and you better not fight.
Sheriff Benson will arrest you, and he'll carry you down,
And if the jury finds you guilty, you're penitentiary bound.
    Let the Midnight Special...

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)