"Like The 309" as written by and John R. Cash....
It should be a while before I see doctor Death
So, it would sure would be nice if I could get my breath
Well, I'm not the cryin', nor the whinin' kind
Til I hear the whistle of the 309, of the 309, of the 309
Put me in my box on the 309

Take me to the depot, put me to bed
Blow an electric fan on my gnarly ol' head
Everybody take a look, see, I'm doin' fine
Then load my box on the 309
On the 309, on the 309
Put me in my box on the 309

Hey, sweet baby, kiss me hard
Draw my bath water, sweep my yard
Give a drink of my wine to my jersey cow
I wouldn't give a hoot-and-nail for my journey now
On the 309, on the 309

I hear the sound of a railroad train
The whistle blows and I'm gone again
Hitman, take me higher than a Georgia pine
Stand back children, it's the 309
It's the 309, it's the 309
Put me in my box on the 309

A chicken in the pot and turkey in the corn
Ain't felt this good since Jubilee morn'
Talk about luck, well, I got mine
Asthma comin' down like the 309

Write me a letter, sing me a song
Tell me all about it, what I did wrong
Meanwhile, I will be doin' fine
Then load my box on the 309
On the 309, on the 309
Gonna get outta here on the 309


Lyrics submitted by sens_freak_18

"Like the 309" as written by Johnny R. Cash

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Like The 309 song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentincredible. i can't wait to meet johnny in heaven
    GabrielDeRoseon June 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was a tribute to the song "Phantom 309", by Red Sovine. The song was inspired by an accident in Saugus, Mass, when a truck driver, transporting fuel, swerved to avoid a school bus and was killed in the subsequent explosion. The school children all survived. The truck driver, and another unlucky driver, in the wrong place at the wrong time, were killed.

    The truck driver was my grandfather, John William "Pete" Trudelle. My father is his oldest son. There were four other siblings, all left to struggle with poverty in Troy, NH.

    51 Years later, a memorial in his honor was etched into a large stone tablet and placed in Troy, NH's town square. This was last weekend, September 13th, 2014.

    Here's a newspaper article that tells the story well:

    sentinelsource.com/opinion/columnists/staff/gilbert/monument-on-common-to-honor-troy-man-by-steve-gilbert/…
    onemessenjahon September 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis was apparantly the last song JC wrote.
    its beautiful.
    i wrote a poem similar to these lyrics about how i want me and "my box" to fall into the ocean.
    kingkillon July 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentonly two comments? insane... this song deserves so many more; it's amazing.
    plasticskieson December 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think the line is:

    "It'll take me higher than a Georgia pine"

    In this day and age, it seems ridiculous to imagine a train hauling off a casket. First of all, trains don't usually carry personal cargo anymore. Also, wouldn't the family want the body buried close to home? But in this song as well as "Evening Train", Johnny Cash writes about a train car carrying a dead person to their final destination. I think it may be allegorical as we are just passin' through this life.

    The way I see it, he's afraid of death at the beginning of the song (Well, I'm not the cryin', nor the whinin' kind, till I hear that whistle of the 309) and wants to make the most of his life while he has some left (Hey sweet baby, kiss me hard...) He doesn't really know where this "journey" he's taking will end up, but we know that he wouldn't give a "hoot in Hell" for it. When he finally meets the train (The whistle blows and I'm gone again) it takes him to Heaven (...higher than a Georgia pine...) where he enjoys his final destination (ain't felt this way since Jubilee morn).

    This is something he did not expect (Talk about luck, well I got mine!), but all his past wrongs have been forgiven and no longer have any bearing on his well being (Tell me all about it, what I did wrong - meanwhile I will be doing fine).

    Very few artists address the spiritual concerns of the everday person in such a raw, personal way. This song is as honest as the day is long, and still hopeful. Makes me think this is the workin' man's answer to the old hymn "Blessed Assurance".
    Ghostdog6on August 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm just wondering. Is the "309" just any random number for any random train or is it a reference to something I am not aware of?
    Wastlon October 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe 309 is in this case a number of a train Johnny was fascinated by trains and made a lot of songs about trains. He usably used the number of the lines that where his favorites. but the most [popular] inmy opinion the best is the orange blossom county line
    barkieon May 18, 2014   Link

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