Josh Ritter - Harrisburg Lyrics

Romero got married on the fifth of July
In our Lady of Immaculate Dawn
Could have got married in the revival man's tent
But there ain't no reviving what's gone
Slipped like a shadow from the family he made
In a little white house by the woods
Dropped the kids at the mission, with a rose for the virgin
She knew he was gone for good

It's a long way to Heaven, it's closer to Harrisburg
And that's still a long way from the place where we are
And if evil exists, it's a pair of train tracks
And the devil is a railroad car

Could have stayed somewhere but the train tracks kept going
And it seems like they always left soon
And the wolves that he ran with moaned low and painful
Sang sad miseries to the moon

It's a long way to Heaven, it's closer to Harrisburg
And that's still a long way from the place where we are
And if evil exists, it's a pair of train tracks
And the devil is a railroad car

Rose at the altar withered and wilted
Romero sank into a dream
He didn't make Heaven, he didn't make Harrisburg
He died in a hole in between
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train

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Josh Ritter Harrisburg Comments
  1. Sam Loomis

    I live in Harrisburg and only just discovered this song???

  2. Shane

    Amazing song! What year is this from?

    Neil O'Rourke

    2001 god nearly 20 years already.

  3. Rb F

    I live in Harrisburg, I get excited when they say "It's a long way to Heaven, it's closer to Harrisburg".

    Sam Loomis

    Me too! Colonial Park area.

  4. Raymond Altman

    Excellent dynamics.

  5. oerskmi p

    Hi dani its me bailey. You'll probbaly be looking through the comment section of this song so i thought i'd say hi. 😚

  6. Joel Schneider

    Lol Dave you got 200k views start a chennel

  7. Sara Gallagher

    The lyrics (and rhythm) of this song are incredible. The historical references are amazing for an Americanist like me.

  8. weston coen

    MISS EVA MAY died and so did HOMER HARRY COEN, my grandparents. I last saw my grandmother in Eugene Oregon in 2011 she died a year later. Homer died in what '88. My mother said his last words where, "I am going home." EVA MAY TURK, she was born was burnt alive half way all the way to her face scar and all. They used to live in a little house in Harrisburg Oregon and Springfield Oregon United States of America. I am her grand children, WESTON GREG(G)ORY COEN . They have put out book's placing me in a timelapse, over 100,000 people have already read them, those books are called, IT'S ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN A WAR PROPHECY and COCAINE AN UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY. My great grandfather is ANTHONY THE OTTO-MAN'S TURK. I have already sued SCAR FACE. Say, HELLO TO LITTLE TONY FOR MAY. He's still out fighting crime with THE WALL crawling identity thief. By the way my father is the KINGPIN. Hmm, DONKEY KONG or WORTAL CŒMBAT.

  9. Emmanuel Pintor

    It is a great song. If you like it something is wrong with you.

    Jimmy Koors

    Something is certainly wrong with me.

  10. Dave Pawlack

    Fairly sure he is talking bout the N.S conway yard in this song. Leads right out to harrisburg. Such good song

    Brandon Lepley

    +Dave Pawlack Norfolk Southern's Conway yard is outside of Pittsburgh. They have three yards in the Harrisburg area, Rutherford, Harrisburg, and Enola.

    AydenBEST Decker

    The Greenbow Alabama what no

  11. weston coen

    My grandma eva lived in harrisburg my grandpa homer drove the train his last words to my mom was "im leaving" my mom asked "where you going?" He said "im going home" my mom said he died after that in his chair

    Tinleg Tical

    weston coen cool story bro tell it again

  12. Jackson Railfan

    One of the best songs ever made. 

  13. zhulia

    The chorus.

  14. Taleena Carter

    Thanks for your Business Development and implementation of course

  15. Jay Stroup

    so calm. so sad. so chilling. so beautiful. nothing this man does is bad.

  16. hewhodoesnotknow

    This is easily one of the most powerful songs ever.

  17. jigga black

    i think when he does this live it should be this style. the other ways are cool but this is amazing.

  18. Wanderin Jack

    The RR tracks symbolize a rigid religious faith. Harrisburg symbolizes a normal middle-class life. In an attempt to find peace and love the searching protagonist with a troubled past places his hope in a very straight and narrow faith. Unfortunately old habits prevail and it doesn't work out as it so rarely does.

    It’s me, VVacle

    Wanderin Jack nope, he is speaking very literally. He was born in Moscow and the belief in the American dream really started when he moved to the capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

    Katherine Of Arrogant

    I thought that of the railroad tracks symbolized anything then it would be the ravenous appetite of industry and the toll it takes on the people and nature of the area. Kinda like a devil.


    Love this song so much. The protagonist is never satisfied and is constantly on the move looking for “more,” even trading his perfect family for a pack of wolves- which I imagine to be something like a group of barflies: lonely souls that come together by necessity and get by in life one night at a time. Of course that doesn’t provide real fulfillment and he dies alone and still journeying.
    I feel the protagonist in John Prine’s “Clay Pigeons” is a kindred spirit.

  19. anon ymous

    just heard this for the 1st time like 10 min ago while hammered and smokin some super good chron + super good headphones. Currently listening for the 3rd time in a row.

  20. Douglas Sundman

    HE SHOULD be rich and powerful..

  21. Hamish Dunlop

    haha yes I was thinking the same thing