Johnny Cash - Hey Porter

Hey Porter

Johnny Cash performs "Hey Porter" Live A Concert Behind Prison Walls)

"Hey Porter" is Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two's first recording; John wrote the song with band mates Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant after Sam Phillips (Owner of Sun Records) turned down "I Was There When It Happened", the song John, Luther and Marshall auditioned with. The reasoning behind Phillip's decision was that "Sam didn't want a gospel song, he wanted a fast song," like Elvis Presley's "That's All right". Having been stationed in Landsberg, Germany, during his stint with the United States Air Force, Cash based the song on a man returning home from overseas who felt elated to be returning to his native South. "Hey Porter" was the first of many rail-themed songs that Cash would record during his career, and was soon followed by "Folsom Prison Blues", another rail-themed track.

Johnny Cash Hey Porter Lyrics

Hey porter! Hey porter!

Would you tell me the time?

How much longer will it be till we cross

that Mason Dixon Line?

At daylight would ya tell that engineer

to slow it down?

Or better still, just stop the train,

Cause I wanna look around.


Hey porter! Hey porter!

What time did ya say?

How much longer will it be till I can

see the light of day?

When we hit Dixie will you tell that engineer

to ring his bell?

And ask everybody that ain't asleep

to stand right up and yell.


Hey porter! Hey porter!

It's getting light outside.

This old train is puffin' smoke,

and I have to strain my eyes.

But ask that engineer if he will 

blow his whistle please.

Cause I smell frost on cotton leaves

and I feel that Southern breeze.


Hey porter! Hey porter!

Please get my bags for me.

I need nobody to tell me now

that we're in Tennessee.

Go tell that engineer to make that

lonesome whistle scream,

We're not so far from home 

so take it easy on the steam.


Hey porter! Hey porter!

Please open up the door.

When they stop the train I'm gonna get off first

Cause I can't wait no more.

Tell that engineer I said thanks alot,

and I didn't mind the fare.

I'm gonna set my feet on Southern soil

and breathe that Southern air.

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