Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dissent Magazine - Spring 2008 Issue - Banned in Red Scare Bo...

Dissent Magazine - Spring 2008 Issue - Banned in Red Scare Bo...

The Song: “M.T.A.”

Let me tell you the story of a man named Charlie
On a dark and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket and he kissed his loving family
And he went to ride the M.T.A.

Did he ever return? No, he never returned
And his fate is still unlearned.
He may ride forever ’neath the streets of Boston
He’s the man who never returned

Charlie handed in his dime at the Kendall Square station
Then he changed for Jamaica Plain
When he got there the conductor told him, “One more nickel!”
Charlie couldn’t get off that train.

[Note: The Kingston Trio did not record this verse]
As his train rolled on through Greater Boston
Charlie looked around and sighed
“Well, I’m sore and disgusted and I’m absolutely busted
I guess this is my last long ride.”

Now all night long Charlie rides through the tunnel
Saying, “What will become of me?
And, how can I afford to see my sister in Chelsea
Or my brother in Roxbury?

[Note: Hawes and Steiner wrote this stanza but it was not included in the original recording.]
“I can’t help,” said the conductor
“I’m just working for a living but I sure agree with you
For the nickels and dimes you’ll be spending in Boston
You’d be better off in Timbuktu.”

Charlie’s wife goes down to the Scollay Square station
Every day at a quarter past two
And through the open window she hands Charlie a sandwich
As his train goes rumbling through

Now, citizens of Boston, don’t you think it is a scandal
That the people have to pay and pay?
Vote for Walter A. O’Brien and fight the fare increase
Get poor Charlie off that M.T.A.!

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