If I Ever Get Back to Birmingham
"If I Ever Get Back to Birmingham (to the Girl Who Waits For Me)" is a parlor song written by James Alexander Brennan and O. E. "Chick" Story. It was published for piano and voice in 1916 by O. E. Story Music Publishers of 218 Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts.
The piece is written in A♭/F in 4/4 "moderato" time. The first-person lyrics portray a man pining to return to Birmingham to meet a girl he left behind, but lacking the necessary train fare.
"I've got the blues and I'm feeling bad.
Nothing like the blues to make you sad.(Chorus)
I guess I'm off my feed.
I know just what I need.
When I hear the choo-choo whistles blow on the railroad train,
If I could afford it, I'd be aboard it, going home again.
If I ever get back to Birmingham,
in Birmingham I'll stay.
and I will settle down in Alabam forever.
Bet your life I will.
For there's a girl in Birmingham that I just long to see,
All I need to get me there is nineteen sixty railroad fare —
Fare back to Birmingham and to the girl who waits for me. (repeat)
I'm all alone far away from home.
What an awful fool I was to roam.
I must have lost my mind,
To leave that town behind.
When I get my pockets full of change I'll be on my way,
But I'm so disgusted, because I'm busted. Here I have to stay."
- "If I Ever Get Back to Birmingham" at the Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music (Johns Hopkins University)