Hear a sample of the full band track:
The earliest versions of this song are titled “The Great Rock Island Route”, with the earliest known version credited to J. A. Roff in 1882. The song describes the scenic beauty and predicaments of the Wabash Cannonball Express as it traveled on the Great Rock Island train route.
A rewritten version by William Kindt appeared in 1904 under the title “Wabash Cannon Ball”.
Here’s Claire Lynch performing this song as only she can: