"The Great Rock Island Route", also known as "Wabash Cannonball
", is the title of an American folk song that describes the scenic beauty and predicaments of the Wabash Cannonball Express as it traveled on the Great Rock Island train route. Over many years, this popular song's music has remained unchanged, while the verses have been updated by song artists. As early as 1882, sheet music titled "The Great Rock Island Route" was credited to J. A. Roff. This version and all subsequent versions contain a variation of this chorus:
"Now listen to the jingle, and the rumble, and the roar,
As she dashes thro' the woodland, and speeds along the shore,
See the mighty rushing engine, hear her merry bell ring out,
As they speed along in safety, on the "Great Rock-Island Route."
A rewritten version by William Kindt appeared in 1904 under the title "Wabash Cannon Ball". The Carter Family made one of the first recordings of the song in 1929, though it was not released until 1932. Another popular version was recorded by Roy Acuff