En 1971, le chanteur américain Steve Goodman (1948-1984) écrit une chanson intitulée City of New Orleans qui sera reprise l'année suivante en français par Joe Dassin sous le titre Salut les amoureux. Ce sont les paroles de la version originale qui sont reproduites ci-dessous :
Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors and twenty five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields,
Passing trains that have no names
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.
Good morning America how are you ?
Don't you know me I'm your native son
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.
Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car
Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin' neath the floor.
And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rythm of the rail is all they feel.
Night time in the City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Half way home we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea.
And all the towns and people seen
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news
The conductor sings his song again
The passengers will please refrain
The train's got the disappearing railroad blues.
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