Southern Cannon Ball
Jimmie Rodgers Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I had to quit rail rollin' and
It didn't agree at all
There was always something wrong
With the Southern Cannonball
I once loved a maiden she was fair and tall
Her pa he was the engineer
On the Southern Cannonball
She promised she would wed me and we
Married in the month of June
And go to the magic island
To spend our honeymoon
At last my dreams were shattered when she
Put me off of the stall
She said the whistle was broken
On the Southern Cannonball

I loved this girl so dearly so
I fixed the whistle back
The next thing she told me was
The cabooses off of the track
But days and nights a labored to get
This back off of a train
Always ready for my highball when
The bell refused to ring

I fixed the bell in a jiffy
And I called the preacher done
Who married us in the old boxcar
For the train refused to run
We made our home in a boomer
Shack I loved that southern sky




And we rocked the baby to sleep each
Night by a train whistle lullaby

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Jimmie Rodgers's song "Southern Cannonball" tell the story of a man who used to work on the railway but had to quit because something was always wrong with the Southern Cannonball, a train he used to ride. Despite leaving his job, he had a love interest, a maiden with a father who was the engineer on the same train. They eventually got married in June and planned to spend their honeymoon on a magical island. However, their dreams were shattered when she called off the wedding, blaming the broken whistle on the Southern Cannonball.


Determined to win her back, the man fixed the whistle, but then she told him that the cabooses were off track. Undeterred, he worked tirelessly to put the train back on the rails. When he finally succeeded, he called the preacher to marry them in an old boxcar since the train refused to run. They made their home in a boomer shack under the beautiful southern sky, and each night they rocked their baby to sleep to the lullaby of a train whistle.


Line by Line Meaning

I had to quit rail rollin' and
I had to stop riding trains and


It didn't agree at all
It didn't suit me at all


There was always something wrong
There was always a problem


With the Southern Cannonball
With the specific train called the Southern Cannonball


I once loved a maiden she was fair and tall
I was once in love with a tall and beautiful girl


Her pa he was the engineer
Her father was the train engineer


On the Southern Cannonball
On the same Southern Cannonball train


She promised she would wed me and we
She promised to marry me and we


Married in the month of June
Got married in June


And go to the magic island
And go on our honeymoon


To spend our honeymoon
To enjoy our newlywed time


At last my dreams were shattered when she
Finally, my dreams were crushed when she


Put me off of the stall
Rejected me completely


She said the whistle was broken
She claimed the train whistle was broken


On the Southern Cannonball
On the same Southern Cannonball train


I loved this girl so dearly so
I loved this girl so deeply so


I fixed the whistle back
I repaired the whistle


The next thing she told me was
Then she informed me


The cabooses off of the track
The cabooses were derailed


But days and nights a labored to get
But I worked tirelessly day and night to restore


This back off of a train
Them back on the train


Always ready for my highball when
Always prepared to start the journey when


The bell refused to ring
The bell didn't make a sound


I fixed the bell in a jiffy
I quickly repaired the bell


And I called the preacher done
And I summoned the preacher


Who married us in the old boxcar
Who performed our marriage ceremony in the old boxcar


For the train refused to run
Because the train wouldn't operate


We made our home in a boomer
We created our home in a temporary dwelling


Shack I loved that southern sky
Hut, and I adored the sky in the southern region


And we rocked the baby to sleep each
And we lulled the baby to sleep every


Night by a train whistle lullaby
Night with the soothing sound of a train whistle




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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Comments from YouTube:

W. Rusty Lane

Sing it Jimmie! I loved his railroad songs as he always referred to himself as the "singing brakeman". I'm a railroad buff. I also love the yodeling. RIP my brother.

GravityAngel

0:17 I had to quit rail rollin' and it didn't agree at all
There was always something wrong with the Southern Cannonball
I once loved a maiden she was fair and tall
Her pa he was the engineer on the Southern Cannonball

0:43 She promised she would wed me and we married in the month of June
And go to the magic island to spend our honeymoon
At last my dreams were shattered when she put me off of the stall
She said the whistle was broken on the Southern Cannonball

1:25 I loved this girl so silly so I fixed the whistle back
The next thing she told me was the cabooses off of the track
But days and nights a labored to get this back off of a train
Always ready for my highball when the bell refused to ring

2:08 I fixed the bell in a jiffy and I called the preacher done
Who married us in the old boxcar for the train refused to run

wildwood valleyboy

... (gravity angel) ...what a travesty,...the lyrics that you have posted are SO, SO, wrong surely you hearing is not THAT bad,...listen to the song again and please make the needed corrections !

Starla brazzel

This was before all the electronic gadgets and ways to cover up the no talent voices that permeate all genres of music. Was a time when you had to have talent ,play instruments and write songs, now they just wiggle onstage and lip sync most of the time. The old singers were the best ,cause threy were real!!

mittROMNEY666

i cant believe how bad music was in the 30s

balladeer45

I can't believe someone would make a stupid statement like that either, but you did.

Trey Stewart

Jimmie Rodgers is one of my favorite singers ! don't like it don't listen!

Trey Stewart

the man could yodel and do a train whistle! and sing and pick guitar without auto tune!

star shining

@Trey Stewart exactly thanks Trey you said it for all of us who love Jimmie

Adam

I can't believe how bad music is in the 2020s

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