Here are the lyrics to a wonderful song from Northland singer/songwriter Bill Isles called Hobos in the Roundhouse. Bill's grandfather worked as a repairman in the roundhouse and evidently shared stories from the experience. The Depression era was a hard time that shook the nation in a variety of ways. Here's a tale that reaches to us from that previous decade from an album titled The Calling. Check it out.
Hobos in the Roundhouse
From seven to seven, every night of the week
Fixin' trains in the roundhouse, I work on my feet
And I told my children, I hope the bedbugs don't bite
And I've got hobos sleeping in the roundhouse tonight.
From Akron to Hinckley and Prairie de Chein
They are soldier and lawyers and I believe what they're sayin'
And I'll roust them at four and they'll head down the line
My hoboes sleepin' in the roundhouse tonight.
Goodnight, my hobos, rest your vagabond heads
On your old knapsack pillows in your gunnysack bed
For a few stolen hours, you'll be alright
My hobos sleepin' in the roundhouse tonight.
Well, they hired a new man to work as a guard
Every mornin' at sunrise he checks out the yard,
But for now, I don't trust him, though he seems pretty nice
'Cause I got hobos sleepin' in the roundhouse tonight.
Well, I asked my Savior, "What should I do?
If I'm caught helping hobos my job could be through."
And I heard the answer, so clear and so bright,
"Are My hobos sleeping in your roundhouse tonight"
Copyright 2003 - Bill Isles/Galinome Forest Publishing