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Charley on the MTA SOURCE: Bob Pfeffer SOURCE'S SOURCE: Will Holt COMMENTS: Written by Jacqueline Berman (now Steiner) and Bess Hawes as a campaign song for Walter A. O'Brian, the Progressive Party candidate in Boston's mayoral election. When Will Holt recorded the number as a pop song for Coral, the record company was astounded by a deluge of protests from Boston because the song made a hero out of a local "radical". The record was hastily withdrawn an a new version recorded which eliminated O'Brien's claim to musical fame. In the later Kingston Trio release, Walter A. was changed to George to avoid advertising Commies on the air. RG AIR: The Ship that Never Returned; also The Wreck of the Old 97 TEXT: C F Let me tell you the story of a man named Charley C G7 On a tragic and fateful day C F He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family C G7 C Went to ride on the MTA CHORUS: Did he ever return, no he never returned And his fate is still unlearn'd He may ride forever neath the streets of Boston He's the man who never returned. Charley handed in his dime at the Kendall Square Station And he changed for Jamaica Plain When he got there the conductor told him, "One more nickel." Charley could not get off that train. Now all night long Charley rides through the tunnels Saying, "What will become of me? How can I afford to see my sister in Chelsea Or my cousin in Roxbury?" Churl's wife goes down to the Scollay Square station Every day at quarter past two And through the open window she hands Charley a sandwich As the train comes rumblin' through. Now you citizens of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal That the people have to pay and pay Vote for George O'Brien and fight the fare increase Get poor Charley off the MTA CHORUS: Or else he'll never return, no he'll never return And his fate will be unlearned He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston He's the man (Who's the man) He's the man (Oh, the man) He's the man who never returned. Recorded by Will Holt, Kingston Trio etc. DT #634 RPf
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