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Old John Joseph was a man with two first names
They left him in the railroad yard when they took away the trains
Only one run a week comes on roaring down that line
So all he's got to worry 'bout is time.

I come by in the evening to hear 'bout where he's been
He says - Come on sit down Kid, where shall I begin?
He starts telling me the stories of the glories of his past
But he always saves the story of his Corey for the last.

And he says - My Corey's coming. No more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory's coming aren't you girl?
And like I told you, when she holds you
She enfolds you in her world.

I was quite surprised to find out all the places that he knew
And so I asked the townfolk if his stories were true
They said - Old John was born here, he's lived here all his life
He's never had a woman, let alone a wife.

And very soon you'll find out as you check around
That no one named Corey's ever lived in this town
So I chided the old man 'bout the truth that I had heard
He smiled and said - Reality is only just a word.

I came by one evening but he did not hear my shout
I looked in the window and saw the fire was out
When he would not wake up I forced in the door
And found that Old John Joseph would tell stories no more.

The scene at the graveyard, three of us were there
Me and the gravedigger heard the parson's prayer
He said - We need not grieve for this man,
For we know that God cares!

They put the cold dirt over him and left me on my own
And when at last I looked up I saw I was not alone
Standing there in silence with a shaw around her face
Stood a beautiful young woman
"Is that John Joseph there?"
I nodded my head yes.
That brought a soft smile to her.
She said "It's time he, he got some rest"
So I said - If you're a relative, he had a peaceful end.
She said - My name is Corey - you can say I'm just a friend.

Corey's coming, no more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory's coming aren't you girl?
And like I told you, when she holds you
She enfolds you in her world.

So that's the old man's story, I'm glad you came tonight
A busted down old railroad yard sure makes a lonely sight
You may wonder why a young man would work out here alone
Well the job pays enough to keep some flesh on my bones.

And I confess I get to missing the old man a bit
And there's one other reason I guess I should admit -

Can't you see my Corey's coming, no more sad stories coming
My midnight-moonlight-morning-glory's coming aren't you girl?
And like he told me, when she holds me
She enfolds me in her world.

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  • U
    UnregisteredJun 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm
    Reality is only just a word. Corey represents john joseph's ability to find happiness within. Be happy with what you have. I still miss you harry!
  • U
    UnregisteredJun 6, 2012 at 3:00 am
    This is a perfect example of how harry fit symbolism and metaphores into his songs, and i think corrie is happiness, because he was finally released, and from ending his work, that even though he loved he wanted to rest, this is even more prominent when harry says that his corrie is coming. When i first heard this song i reared with emotion, but that is the power of harry chapins words, not only did he write stories in his songs but they were also true folk songs nearly every ballad had a deep meaning behind it. And whats more is he never told us what they were, so he left them up to his listeners to find for themselves so the meaning is different for everyone for all of his songs.
  • U
    UnregisteredNov 30, 2011 at 8:58 am
    I write screenplays. One way to get my juices flowing before starting a new script is to play music from the 70's. These lyrics just scream... Think! Anything is possible. He was a master at his craft. He died way to young.
  • U
    UnregisteredOct 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Trying to figure out who this "Corey" is when I had my daughter listen to the song and at the lean mean age of 12 she said "Corey is God!" Wow! I think she just may be right?

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