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Origin: Wabash Cannonball - meaning

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WABASH CANNONBALL


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Wabash Cannonball (53)
(origins) Story Behind Wabash Cannonball & Claxton (59)
Help: Wabash Cannonball - no changes will be taken (11)
Lyr Req: Hey Art! The Wabash Cannonball . (7)
Oldest publication(ca1910) of Wabash Cannonball (4)


Armen Tanzerian 20 Jul 01 - 03:42 PM
Murray MacLeod 20 Jul 01 - 07:27 PM
Amos 20 Jul 01 - 07:33 PM
Murray MacLeod 20 Jul 01 - 07:40 PM
catspaw49 20 Jul 01 - 09:53 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Jul 01 - 10:02 PM
catspaw49 20 Jul 01 - 10:14 PM
Mark Clark 20 Jul 01 - 10:22 PM
Chicken Charlie 21 Jul 01 - 03:48 PM
catspaw49 21 Jul 01 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,genie 11 Aug 01 - 02:59 AM
Art Thieme 13 Aug 01 - 06:51 PM
Sandy Paton 14 Aug 01 - 02:22 AM
Art Thieme 14 Aug 01 - 02:36 AM
Sandy Paton 14 Aug 01 - 09:15 PM
Sandy Paton 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM
catspaw49 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM
Art Thieme 15 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Reiver 2 15 Aug 01 - 08:41 PM
catspaw49 15 Aug 01 - 09:14 PM
Charley Noble 16 Aug 01 - 11:11 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 01 - 01:12 PM
Rick Fielding 16 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM
Jim the Bart 16 Aug 01 - 03:19 PM
catspaw49 16 Aug 01 - 03:38 PM
Art Thieme 16 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Lyle 16 Aug 01 - 05:04 PM
Art Thieme 16 Aug 01 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Lyle 16 Aug 01 - 10:38 PM
Margo 17 Aug 01 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 17 Aug 01 - 06:26 AM
BH 17 Aug 01 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,doncam 17 Aug 01 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,doncam 17 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM
Art Thieme 17 Aug 01 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,Elliot 27 Apr 07 - 02:51 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 27 Apr 07 - 04:02 PM
kendall 27 Apr 07 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Branson 13 Dec 19 - 09:05 AM
Roger the Skiffler 13 Dec 19 - 09:29 AM
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Subject: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 03:42 PM

I spend some of my time in France, where I am happy to say there is an active bluegrass and traditional country scene. I am sometimes called upon to decipher lyrics for my francophone friends, and a buddy has just e-mailed me to ask about a few lyrics in the Roy Acuff classic Wabash Cannonball. The song says "she's a regular combination", which I always took to be a bit of railroadese (argot ferroviaire). But what does it actually mean? Combination passengers and mail? Requiring two locomotives? Anyone know?

Roy also says that "no changes can be taken", which I gather meant that the Cannonball was the TGV of its day, with no stops to change trains.

Thanks for all information.


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 07:27 PM

I cannot help you with the meaning of these phrases, Armen, but I do know that the Wabash Cannonball of the song was a mythical train in hoboe's folklore dating back to the 19th century.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 07:33 PM

Dunno about the nineteenth. But it was a hobo song of the 'teens (20th Century). In that period "regular" was frequently used to simply mean praisworthy, acceptable, worhty of trust; and a "combination" was any series of engine and cars as I recall. It was common to buy tickets taking changes at various nexii to take a local branch line to get where you were going, but a Cannonball being an express train would not stop until it got to its destination, a major terminus, and no changes could be taken.

The above is my own interpretation and not authoritative.

A


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 07:40 PM

The song doesn't date back to the 19th, but the mythical "Wabash Cannonball" predated the song by decades.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 09:53 PM

Two other excellent threads that might interest you:

Click Here

and Click Here

"Combination" is alterately used with "Consist" and "Construc(t)" (all used as nouns) as meaning the layout and engine combination and arrangement of any train, freight or passenger. Wheel layouts on steamers were generally mentioned in far more specific terms and included a name given to that arrangement and boiler/power, such as 2-8-4 Berkshire, 4-6-4 Hudson, 2-8-2 Mikado, 4-6-2 Pacific, etc.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 10:02 PM

Corruption of: "She's the 'bo's accomodation" -- ask Art.

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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 10:14 PM

Sorry....Should have elaborated just a bit on a Construc. A typical passenger construc was the loco/tender followed by a general purpose car, sometimes carrying "hot" freight and excess baggage, a mail car, baggage car, passenger car/sleeper, passenger car/sleeper, dining car, passenger car, passenger car, observation/bar car. On freight trains the construc was determined by destination, load, weight, type of car, and a few other factors. The total weight of the train determined the power used and if extra power was needed and when (grades). The total weight is known as "Weight on the Drivers" and the type of power and weight on the drivers in conjunction with time/distance, determined how much money the engine crew was paid.

Even after the advent of diesels this formula was still used. So if you drew an underpowered, slow, heavy freight, you weren't going to make as much money. On my Dad's run on the Pennsy between Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh (Pitcairn or Conway yards), the worst scheduled freight was "CP-6" which was always slow going. The best scheduled freight was "CG-8" which was generall about 90 cars, 4 to 6 diesels and ran at the track limit ("CG-8, never late"). In the days of the 16 hour outlaw, it wasn't uncommon for Dad to outlaw before he even crossed the river on CP-6 and conversely, he'd be home a lot faster if he drew CG-8 and PS-10 on the return.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Mark Clark
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 10:22 PM

I don't know if this site is authorative but it appears to have information about the train called Wabash Cannonball. Here is a discussion thread from railroad.net that talks about the modern route that was renamed The Wabash Cannon Ball in honor of the well known song. I'm guessing that the people posting are railroad buffs and there is no mention of such a train prior to the song.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 03:48 PM

Being addicted to railroad songs, I have done some reading and offer the following ideas.

It this song, "modern combination" refers to it being a freight/passenger combo. Disagree on folk etymology from "hobo's accommodation" but would accept it if given documentation, like earlier version done the other way.

No changes--I agree with the suggestion made. The train is an express or a "limited," making few stops. Ergo it does not stop at all possible change points.

"Riding thru the jungle" if it's in your version refers to "hobo jungle," term for a hang-out where bums built shacks of tarpaper and scrap wood. Otherwise conjures up a strange unintended Disneyland-like vision.

Line I always wondered about was the second one, which I have possibly mangled or maundygreened somehow: "Across the wide Atlantic to the great Pacific shore, from the queen of flowing rivers to the south belle by the door." (?) Figurative ref to the Mississippi flowing past New Orleans, the "south belle by the door?"

Also apropos of nothing, used to start last verse, "Here's to Boston Blackie, may his name forever stand, and will he be remembered through the whole of all the land." Friend named Alabama Southard told me it should be, "Here's to Daddy Claxton, may his name forever stand, And will he be remembered through the whole of Alabam'." Sung it that way ever since.

CC


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 04:35 PM

Regarding Daddy Claxton.....You need to click on the links I posted as there is an extensive discussion there on the name and the why/who etc.

Re: modern combination is also sung as Western combination, but again has to do with the construc of the train. There was (and still exist) a proliferation of terms for varying construcs. A popular setup used to transport engines and cabooses was also used for deadheading crews for many years consisted of engine(s) and caboose(s) only was called a "Cabin Special" on some lines.

Re: CC says:"Line I always wondered about was the second one, which I have possibly mangled or maundygreened somehow: "Across the wide Atlantic to the great Pacific shore, from the queen of flowing rivers to the south belle by the door." (?) Figurative ref to the Mississippi flowing past New Orleans, the "south belle by the door?" There are several possible other verses written/heard such as "From the great Atlantic Ocean to the wide Pacific shore, from the Queen of all the waters to the southland by the shore"..........or this carter family variant:

Out from the wide Pacific to the broad Atlantic shore
She climbs a flowery mountain, o'er hills and by the shore
Although she's tall and handsome and she's known quite well by all
She's a regular combination, on the Wabash Cannonball.

Whatever, it was, at the inception of the song, a mythical train that could take you anywhere.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,genie
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 02:59 AM

For what it's worth, I heard an Irish ballad called "Ballybunion (sp?) By The Sea," which had exactly the same tune as "Wabash Cannonball," except it was in 3/4 time. Is this an older folk tune to which "Cannonball" was set?


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:51 PM

The version I recorded for Sandy Paton is the one I got from the elderly hobo fiddler, 93 year old, Paul Durst. (born-1868) Paul sang/recited it as: 'bo's accomodations when he showed it to me in October of 1961. I've posted quite a bit here in otrher threads about my talks with Paul. Bruce Phillips just used the tapes I made of Paul on Dec. 8th, 1961 as the focus of his radio show called LOAFER'S GLORY (#77). I just got a copy of that show and it was beautifully done I thought.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:22 AM

Paul Durst is documentation enough for me, Art. I'll stick with "bo's accomodation." At least I can quote him as your source!

Sandy ("Sing it any way you like it, but SING IT")


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:36 AM

Sandy, yes-----and folks, my version of "W.C." was available on LP but now as a custom cassette from Sandy's Folk Legacy Records.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:15 PM

As a follow-up:

I picked up a 1930 copy of Milburn's The Hobo's Hornbook" today, and thought I ought to see what he gave for the line in question. He offers "It's the 'boes' accommodation." So. I decided to look a little further and got out Bill Yenne's The Romance and Folklore of North America's Railroads (Brompton Books, 1994). Hardly seems fair to add Yenne to the documentation list, as the text he prints seems to be taken from Milburn, verbatim, even to including "Now here's to Long Slim Perkins..." instead of Boston Blackey, Daddy Claxton, Clark, or whomever.
Long Steel Rail (thanks SINSULL!!!). He offers a text dating back to 1904 (copyrighted by William Kindt but with no author credited), which was based by Kindt on an earlier one dated 1882 titled "The Great Rock Island Route" (published in 1882, words and music by J. A. Roff). In Roff's text, the line is "There's a name of magic import and 'tis known the world through-out, 'tis a mighty corporation called the Great Rock Island Route." The 1904 publication changed it to the "Wabash Cannon Ball" and gave the line as "There's a name of magic splendor that is known quite well by all, 'Tis the western combination called the Wabash Cannon Ball." Okay. These pre-date Milburn, BUT... Cohen goes on to write:

... although early versions had many phrases and verses that clearly identified the song as a hobo song, these halmarks have tended to disappear from the lyrics. For example. the last line of the first verse used to contain the phrase "she's the 'boes' accommodation," but now it is generally rendered as "she's a regular combination" (Carter Family) or "modern combination" (Loy Bodine) or just "the combination (Acuff).

I think the hobos either originated the song and it was misunderstood by those commercializers who grabbed it from them as it went by, or the hobos took the 1904 song and made it their own with the quite understandable "'boes' accommodation."

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM

I seem to have lost a few sentences in that post. The second paragraph should start with: So I hauled my frame up to the library on the other side of the house and got out Norm Cohen's Long Steel Rail etc.

At the end, I meant to add: I think I'll stick with the hobos' version as it comes to us from Art and his friend Paul Durst, and as it was in Milburn's 1930 Hornbook. "The 'boes' accommodation" makes good sense to me.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 PM

Great post Sandy....and at this late date it's probably impossible to tell which came first, the chicken or the egg. I really like the "'Boes Accomodation" line because it makes some sense and would travel a lot of routes. The combination business is cumbersome to figure out and the words mean different things in different places as we were talking about above.

Thanks to Art and and you both!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM

Ya know, I've always known those tapes of Paul would, one of these days, be noticed. When I'd play 'em for folks in the '60s qnd '70s, the standard line I got back was, "Jeez, that old guy had a hell of an imagination, didn't he?"----------It got so I quit playing the thing for just anybody. I knew Paul Durst and I saw and heard the fire in his words---the dedication to the values of that other time and place---the love for the ideals of his union--the I.W.W. For me, if Paul said that he had been there, then, damn it, he HAD been there. There was maybe 20 minutes more to those tapes than I did save but they were so deterriorated by the time I managed to dub off the stuff that now survives that I was sure they'd be lost along the hot dusty roads I was on then in order to make a living singing. When this new technology came along, my buddy Fritz Schuler in Manitowoc, Wisconsin took the reel of the dialogue I'd saved before my reel-to-reel decks quit for good --- and he digitized those and put 'em on a CD. The bad hum from the neon lights in the cold old shop where I taped Paul Durst was still on the CD, but when Utah Phillips needed a halfway decent recording of Paul to use on the air, I just sent him one of those CDs that Fritz had made for me. (I was in awe of what folks were doing with computers. Still am. To me it's the stuff of magic and sorcery.) But Bruce (Utah) saw the validity of those recordings---the importance. Yeah, Paul had been at Ludlow and the Haymarket---jumped freights with his fiddle on his back---played all over for his meals---knew Joe Hill and had shipped out with him---was a part of Buffalo Bill's big show---was one of the 50,000 lumberjack Wobblys on strike in the North woods---had dug potatoes in Greely, Colorado and floated a flatboat down the Mississippi after jumping Mini-ha-ha-ha(sic) Falls in Minnesota all the way down to New Orleans where the boat sold for $25.00 'cause Northern hardwood was rare down there.
The strain of mentally going back to those times was in his voice when he said, "Yeah, them was some times. I'm just an old hobo now. I been through all that. I came into this world with nothin' and gonna go out with nothing. So to hell with it."----------Mr Durst was sitting by the front door of that music shop and he got pretty cold as the sun went down. Finally he arose and said, "Gettin' pretty chilly. Think I'll go in back. Thanks for everything."---like I had done him a favor by recording his music and talk.

Well, that short interview I managed to save sure has stuck with me these last 40 years. And it sure is great to have old friend Bruce Phillips find value therein.

My old column in Come For To Sing Magazine out o' Chicago was called 'Links On The Chain'. More than ever I see now that we really are just that. Paul KNEW back then he might have something to thank me for. Woody has a ton to thank Pete for.

And so it goes...

(That shop I recorded Paul in was THE FRET SHOP---1500 E. 57th St. in Chicago's Hyde Park area. The shops were left over from the Columbian Exposition of 1893 where they were concession stands. After the fair ended, they became cheap housing cold-water-flats for Bohemia in Chicago. Vachel Lindsey and Floyd Dell andMaxwekk Bodenheim, Ben Reitman and Emma Goldman, Hemingway and Boxcar Bertha --- so many others. If you can find it, check out Floyd Dell's novel THE BRIARY BUSH. A BIG part of it was in those storefronts when they were called THE ARTIST COLONY. They were on both sides of 57th St between the Illinois Central Railroad overpass and Stoney Island Blvd. (The first Mayor Daley demolished them.) If you've ever gone to Chicago's Museum Of Science And Industry, you have been a good stone's throw from where all that went down. I'm still being invigorated by it --- and right now I'll take all the vigor I can get.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,Reiver 2
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:41 PM

Great posts Sandy and Art!! I think just about everybody who ever has sung that song has changed it a bit. I think you have gotten very close to it's roots. Personally, I've always used "she's the 'bo's accommodation" as I thought it was more likely to have been the original. The only possible explanation I could ever come up with for "traveling through the jungles" was that it was a reference to the "Hobo jungles" along the rail lines. Anyway, thanks to you all. You take me back a few decades!


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 09:14 PM

Another great Paul Durst story Art! And once again I am grateful to have you around here to tell it. Makes me feel like I should compile all the Paul Durst/Art Thieme storis on one thread because you have some terrific stories and I thank you for them.

And Reiver 2....I always took jungles to be hobo jungles too....It's the only sensible thing the line could mean.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 11:11 AM

Great digging! Finally makes more sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 01:12 PM

I am the first to joke about finding the 3rd word in the 5th line of the 93rd verse of "Diddle My Fiddle" and at the same time, the first to applaud efforts like these.

Whether a word is thee or the or whatever can get a bit silly, but here is an example of a song sung in numerous ways and in many cases very little of it makes sense. Plus, it's been recorded in so many ways that we can only guess at it's origins and who did what to whom and when.

Getting close to the roots and finding better info is one of the most enjoyable things about Mudcat and Folk Music in general. At times I draw the line over some of the stuff that's a bit irrelevant (the, thou) but when it affects the meaning or lack of it........that's a different story. We ahve a lot of songs that through the years owing to one thing or another are now almost utter nonsense with the original song lost in the shuffle.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM

Well.....I've already changed "modern combination" to 'bo's accomodation' ('cause I like it) and let me report that my audience last night did NOT storm the stage demanding either their money back, the name of my source, or even a re-count in Florida. The fuckers didn't even know the difference....but I did. Thanks Art.

Perhaps when I'm in a mischievious mood I might even sing "Here's to Daddy Warbucks...." just to see if they EVER pay attention.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 03:19 PM

Nothing to add but my thanks. And the fact that I'd rather listen to the Wabash Cannonball being played on a dobro than eat.

Thanks, Art, Sandy, et al.

Bart


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 03:38 PM

Well then Bart, dieting should be simple for you!

Seriously Rick, you DO need to try "Daddy Warbucks!"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM

Thanks folks. One more thing. Paul always sang "Here's to Montana Whitey..."

It seems Paul and a hobo with that name were jumping a freight near the yards at Missoula, Montana around 1910. Whitey fell under the wheels and was killed. After that Paul put his name in the song just to remember him.

Art


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 05:04 PM

Art: Are there any transcriptions of any kind (tape, CD, other) available of your Paul Durst interview? I think just hearing him talk would be priceless.

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 06:47 PM

I could send it to Max and he might put it here at Mudcat.

Art


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 10:38 PM

Thanks, Art; I sure hope he does

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Margo
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 01:05 AM

Yes Art. I think even the above paragraph with it's descriptions and bits of dialogue could be a great song...


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 06:26 AM

Damn, now I'LL have to relearn it! Not that anybody listens to me anyway, but now I know the popular version is "mondegreened" it'll bug me if I don't.
Seriously, thanks for the explanations, especially the "jungle" which had puzzled me.
RtS (Just don't tell me the Rock Island Line doesn't go to New Orleans or that's my repertoire shot to pieces!)


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: BH
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 06:41 PM

No but the City of New Orleans does as well as Hank Williams' Pan American.

As to the Wabash Cannonbal--- this was really an education. And here I had always thought (seriously) that: "....tall and handsome and a regular combination" referred to an attractive female passenger.

It really was nice to read this thread.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,doncam
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 07:43 PM

Isn't it amazing that one simple query can generate such a wonderful breadth and depth of knowledge of a subject? This surely is a great forum.


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,doncam
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM

Sorry, I should have added: I agree with Roger the Skiffler, thanks for the explanation of "Jungle". I always assumed it was to do with the Everglades! Now I know.


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 10:28 PM

The search for songs and info has always been a real treasure hunt for me. Writing songs was never "IT" for me. I loved finding the songs---making the best single version I could (from my point of view) from the differing variations---one that'd be heard by modern folks and still be solidly true to the original and the folks from whom it sprang---their language and tune--history--all of it.

Art


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: GUEST,Elliot
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 02:51 AM

Ah yes! Hank Williams' Pan American. I'd learned that song well before I'd heard Roy Acuff singing Wabash Cannonball and I thought "wait just a minute......a train song with a VERY similar melody.....who's ripping off who?" But now I've figured Hank was probably making an answer-song to the Wabash Cannonball (as hinted in the first line of Pan-American: "I have heard your stories about your fast trains...").

One more question though..

In Acuff's version, is he talking about the train, or an actual girl, in the second verse?

-Elliot


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 04:02 PM

Legend of History(?) has it that Hank Williams wrote Pan American in about 1/2 hour in answer to a challenge by Fred Rose to find how fast he could compose a song when one was needed for either recording or performance.

It makes more stops than the City of New Orleans.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Wabash Cannonball - meaning of lyrics
From: kendall
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 04:16 PM

Utah recorded Wabash Cannonball and his own sequel on his new "Starlight on the rails" songbook. It's a collection of 60 of his songs.
...no round trip tickets you're on the final run,
this cannonball is never coming back,
Tomorrow she will be just another memory
An echo down a lonesome railroad track.

Anyone who doesn't have this 4 CD collection for a measly $40 is sadly lacking a great piece of work.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Wabash Cannonball - meaning
From: GUEST,Branson
Date: 13 Dec 19 - 09:05 AM

Seems to me that the girl from Texas or wherever could be a combination because she's long and she's tall, like the train. There is also the myth that the WC takes the souls of hobos to heaven, and is carrying the body of Daddy Claxton, so is perhaps a passenger train and a hearse.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Wabash Cannonball - meaning
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 13 Dec 19 - 09:29 AM

What a treat to see this thread again with so many kind, helpful and scholarly Mudcatters now gone to the great folk group in the sky to be replaced, sadly, by name-callers and trollers.
RtS


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