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Lyr Add: Wabash Cannonball (revised by leeneia)

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WABASH CANNONBALL


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leeneia 29 Dec 20 - 07:19 PM
cnd 30 Dec 20 - 10:24 PM
leeneia 30 Dec 20 - 11:47 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: wabash cannonball once more
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 07:19 PM

Here's song I sang at the singaround yesterday. I first learned it from a book edited by Burl Ives, and I've made some changes. IMHO, the version Ives published is what the song is supposed to be about - a wonderful train which takes hoboes - including drifters, alcoholics and homosexuals, to heaven.

The Wasbash is a river in Illinois and Indiana, and the Wabash Railway served the Midwest. I remember seeing Wabash freight cars around when I was a kid. The logo simply said "Wabash" in graceful cursive, and the letters went up in a way that a handwriting analyst would say indicates an optimistic nature. All that being the case, I felt that the train in the song ought to serve Midwestern cities, so I put the names of towns the Wabash Railway actually served into verse 3.

Then I decided that the original first verse (with the Atlantic and Pacific in it) was cliched, and unmidwestern so I rewrote it as you see here.

However, my husband wanted Labrador left in, since we had just been to Labrador, so I wrote a new verse to please him.
====================
The Wabash Cannonball - (From a book edited by Burl Ives, I think.)

From the shores of Gitchee Gumee, through the north wood’s towering pines,
Past the Mississip’s meanders, where the wide Missouri winds,
There’s a train, a super-flyer, oh hear her thrilling call!
All aboard, ye weary hoboes, it’s the Wabash Cannonball.

Listen to the rumble, oh listen to the roar
As she echoes down the valley and glides along the shore.
Hear her engine thunder, hear her mighty whistle call,
There will be no bulls or brakemen on the Wabash Cannonball.

A fond farewell to Frankfort, St Louis, Buffalo,*
Quincy and Ottumwa boys, we won't be going slow.
Like a flash, we’ll travel upward, out of sight the earth will fall
as we travel straight to glory on the Wabash Cannonball.

Listen to the rumble, oh listen to the roar
as she echoes down the valley and glides along the shore.
Hear her engine thunder, hear her mighty whistle call.
There’s mulligan in the club car of the Wabash Cannonball.

She’s known from the Atlantic to the wild Pacific shore,
from the coast of California to icebound Labrador.
With a legendary engine, fitted out for the long haul,
She’s a special combination called the Wabash Cannonball.

Listen to the rumble, oh listen to the roar
as she echoes down the valley and glides along the shore.
Hear her engine thunder, hear her mighty whistle call.
See the planets out the windows of the Wabash Cannonball!

On arrival at the station, this train will not be late
to attend St Pete’s reception beside the pearly gate.
“Well done, my faithful servants,” we’ll hear the Master call.
“Welcome to all passengers of the Wabash Cannonball.”

Listen to the rumble, oh listen to the roar
as she echoes down the valley and glides along the shore.
Hear her engine thunder, hear her mighty whistle call.
There’s rejoicing in the club car of the Wabash Cannonball.
==============
Gitchee Gumee is Lake Superior.

It is standard slang to leave the last I off of Mississippi.

Bulls are railroad security guards.

Mulligan is mulligan stew - a mixture of whatever food the hoboes could find and share.

Club car is a rolling pub.

Combination - refers to the train's make-up. How many engines, passenger cars, freight cars, etc.

Don't sing it too fast, because you have a lot of words that call for enunciation. Note that the fourth line of "the chorus" is different every time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: wabash cannonball once more
From: cnd
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 10:24 PM

Nice reworking, Leenia, I always enjoy a nice remake of a song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: wabash cannonball once more
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 11:47 PM

thanks, cnd.


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