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Kingston Trio – Midnight Special lyrics

Nick Reynolds/Bob Shane/John Stewart

Oh, let the midnight special, shine her light on me. Oh, let the midnight special shine her everlovin' light on me.

Well, if you ever go to Texas you better walk straight. You better not stop. Hey! You better not wait
For the sheriff will arrest you and your head he'll pound. You'll wake up in the morning; the prison walls all around.


Well, you wake up in the morning and they take you to the train. You better answer to the captain when he calls your name.
Then your guts are gonna get you and your body's gonna shake but they got you on a big chain, so you can't escape.


Yonder comes my woman. How in the world do I know? Well, I know her by her wiggle and the dress she wore.
The last time that I was with her, she made me jump and shout. I'm gonna whip that captain. Watch me jump on out!

(Chorus twice)

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    Here is yet another song which the Trio falsely claimed to have written in order to claim publishing royalties. Ledbelly caused the emergence of this Texas prison song in the 1940's, well before the Trio might have dreamed it up. The words might, in part, be theirs however, a usual ruse to claim the rights.
    Sugarland Penitentiary in coastal Texas was located near a railroad. The story goes that the prisoners had a belief that if the light of the Midnight Special train shone upon a prisoner through the barred windows of the prison at night, his bail would arrive the next morning, and he would be freed.
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