Wabash Cannonball/Tolono

Utah Phillips

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Utah Phillips

Bruce Duncan "Utah" Phillips (May 15, 1935 – May 23, 2008) was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist. He often promoted the Industrial Workers of the World in his music, actions, and words. more »


Year:
1973
5:26
98 
#1

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Listen to the jingle the rumble and the roar as she glides along the woodland 
ore the hills and by the shore 
hear the rush of the mighty engine hear the lonesome hobos call 
he's riding through the jungle on the Wabash cannon ball 

VERSE 
now the western states are dandies so the southern people say from Chicago 
and St. Louis 
and Peoria by the way 
to the lake of Minnesota where the rippling waters flow no chances to be 
taken on 
the Wabash cannon ball 

VERSE 
she pulled in to the station one cold December day 
as she rolled up to the platform you could hear all the people say 
now theirs a gal from Birmingham she's Elong and she's tall she came down 
from Georgia 
on the Wabash cannon ball 

VERSE 
now heres to daddy claxton may his name forever stand 
and always be remembered in the courts of all the land 
his earthly race is over and as the curtain falls 
we'll carry him back to Dixie on the Wabash cannon ball 
Wabash Cannonball

I was headed for Tolono on the Wabash Cannonball
Norfolk and Western all the way
St. Louis down the line, Detroit somewhere behind
I thought I heard that old conductor say

No round trip ticket, you're on the final run
This Cannonball is never comin' back
Tomorrow she'll just be another memory
And an echo down a rusty railroad track

I got off at Tolono, just below Champagne
A flagstop on the edge of yesterday
The whistle blew a song, I whispered "So long"
Waved my hand and slowly walked away

No round trip ticket, you're on the final run
This Cannonball is never comin' back
Tomorrow she'll just be another memory
And an echo down a rusty railroad track

I think about tomorrow, wonder why it is
We give up all the things we love the most
Goodbye, you old hog. I'll have to ride the Dog
Till they build a subway coast to coast

But no round trip ticket, you're on the final run
This Cannonball is never comin' back
Tomorrow she'll just be another memory
And an echo down a rusty railroad track

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Written by: BRUCE PHILLIPS

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