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Song Details
Duration: 3:18 
Release Date: 1959  (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Lyrics By: Jacqueline Steiner/Bess Lomax Hawes (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Music By: Jacqueline Steiner/Bess Lomax Hawes (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Produced By:
Released By:
Published By:
  • This song originally was a campaign song for Walter O'Brien, a Progressive Party candidate for Boston Mayor in 1948. The lyrics were written by Jacqueline Steiner (Berman) and Bess Lomax Hawes and dealt with the campaign issue of rates being raised on the Massachusetts (Metropolitan) Transit Authority (MTA). The tune itself is an old folk tune, presumably "The Wreck of the old 97" and/or "The Ship That Never Returned". It was recorded by the Almanac Singers whose members included Pete Seeger. (Stavro Arrgolus)
  • Song Lyrics:
    These are the times that try men's souls. In the course of our nation's history, the people of Boston have rallied
    Bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened. Today, a new crisis has arisen. The Metropolitan
    Transit Authority, better known as the M. T. A., is attempting to levy a burdensome tax on the population in the
    Form of a subway fare increase. Citizens, hear me out! This could happen to you!

    [Eight bar guitar, banjo introduction]

    Well, let me tell you of the story of a man named Charlie on a tragic and fateful day.
    He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family, went to ride on the M. T. A.

    Well, did he ever return? No, he never returned and his fate is still unlearned. (What a pity! Poor ole Charlie. Shame and scandal. He may ride forever. Just like Paul Revere.)
    He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston. He's the man who never returned.

    Charlie 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." Charlie couldn't get off of that train.


    Now, all night long Charlie rides through the station, crying, "What will become of me?!!
    How can I afford to see my sister in Chelsea or my cousin in Roxbury?"


    Charlie's wife goes down to the Scolley Square Station every day at quarter past two,
    And through the open window she hands Charlie a sandwich as the train comes rumblin' through.


    Now, you citizens of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal how the people have to pay and pay?
    Fight the fare increase! Vote for George O'Brien! Get poor Charlie off the M. T. A.


    He's the man who never returned. He's the man who never returned. Ain't you Charlie?
    (jammin DIA)
    Current Rating 10.0 (2 votes)
    Song Images:
    Messages about the song: "M. T. A."
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    Song samples are provided for information purposes only and are intended to enable the users to sample the music (as they are in very low quality) before they take the decision of purchasing the music. This right is expressly permitted under "Fair Use" as nonprofit educational purposes only. The ownership of the copyright of the songs rests with the respective owners.

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