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Song Parodies -> "Acela Cannonball"

Original Song Title:

"Wabash Cannonball"

Original Performer:

Traditional

Parody Song Title:

"Acela Cannonball"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

2009: The Railroad Adventure.
Oh, the railroads of United Stated
they've seen a many train
which moved by steam and diesel
in sunshine and in rain
They once said that rail transport
is obsolete and blown
and mission of the Amtrak
was to run rail traffic down

So listen to the jingle and electric motor hum
as she glides along the coastline
from Boston to Washington
She's long, tall and streamlined,
and she should be known by all
she's Pride of the Yankees -
Acela Cannonball

But she came down to Washington
in Nineteen-Ninety-Nine
as she rolled to the station,
people said: "It's mighty fine" -
She's swift, fast and handsome
and she has tilting coach
one hundred fifty miles per hour
is a mighty fine approach

So listen to the jingle and electric motor hum
as she glides along the coastline
from Boston to Washington
She's long, tall and streamlined,
and she should be known by all
she's Pride of the Yankees -
Acela Cannonball

Now Japan has their Shinkansen
and France that TGV
and all around the Europe
those trains move at high speed
Now the airports are all crowded
and the Patriot Act's a pain -
to travel with some comfort
it's easier to board a train

So listen to the jingle and electric motor hum
as she glides along the coastline
from Boston to Washington
She's long, tall and streamlined,
and she should be known by all
she's Pride of the Yankees
Acela Cannonball

We've heard of global warming
well, they say it's fossil fuels -
it's cars and planes and heating
which belch the CO2 -
But the modern train's like lightning -
it's electric and it's quick
it doesn't have a smokestack
- and that should do the trick

So listen to the jingle and electric motor hum
as she glides along the coastline
from Boston to Washington
She's long, tall and streamlined,
and she should be known by all
she's Pride of the Yankees -
Acela Cannonball

Now here's a toast to Amtrak
and their brave cabin crews
for their brand-new addition
for the US railroad blues -
Yes, City Of New Orleans,
and we know Rock Island Line -
but the fastest train in USA
is Acela mighty fine!

So listen to the jingle and electric motor hum
as she glides along the coastline
from Boston to Washington
She's long, tall and streamlined,
and she should be known by all
she's Pride of the Yankees -
Acela Cannonball

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Total Votes: 5

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Tommy Turtle - October 14, 2009 - Report this comment
Impressive US knowledge for a Finn -- have you visited often? ..."the Patriot Act's a pain - it's easier to board a train" ... guess that answers that question, and deserves 555 for that alone. (But would like to see choruses varied in all songs.)

btw, if trains (or cars) run on electricity, doesn't the electricity have to be "generated" somehow? ... like in a coal- or oil-fired plant, which is the majority, or a nuclear plant, which scares everyone (despite the fact that more Americans have been killed in Teddy Kennedy's car than in nuclear power plant accidents). ... yeah, need to continue work on alternatives, just mentioning that it's not automatically "green" because it's electric. Good one overall, and in tunnels and polluted cities, it's better to go elec and let the pollution fall on someone else. Cheers.
Fiddlegirl - October 14, 2009 - Report this comment
I love trains!!! (It could be a result of *repeated* readings of "The Little Engine that Could"... or the Jimmie Rodgers train songs my dad used to sing-- who knows? But they're wonderful.) :)
Susanna Viljanen - October 15, 2009 - Report this comment
I visited US some time ago for work issues, and got quite fed up with the airports, so I decided next time to take a train. Since my latest trip was on the East Coast, I read of the Acela Express (high speed train) and I used that. Being European, I'm used to high speed trains, and I was very pleased - no more treating like cattle at airports. Trains have a big advantage - they move from center to center - no unnecessary waiting at airports and far shorter taxicab routes to hotel.
Susanna Viljanen - October 15, 2009 - Report this comment
Yup, trains run on electricity, and it needs to be created somewhere, that's correct. In Finland we favour the hydroelectric power (dams) and nukes - fortunately, the power plants are required to be located as far from inhabitation as plausible. In places, where winds are constant (such as westerlies or tradewinds) or sun is more than mere blink at sky, wind and solar power are also good alternatives.
Tommy Turtle - October 15, 2009 - Report this comment
Susanna, everything is a trade-off. Hydroelectric power is a good, non-polluting source. Unfortunately, in the US, lush and fertile, or highly scenic, valleys have been turned into lakes by dams, also killing the wildlife in the valleys. If the valley is a rocky crag with little flora or fauna, that's a good choice. Recently, they wanted to dam one of the most scenic rivers and valleys in the State of California. Opposition defeated it.

I had a solar water heater installed on my first home, which I custom-designed for myself. It worked very well and paid for itself in three years with the savings on electricity. Solar plants are underway in the US, although they require a good bit of room. Individual solar, as for hot water, swimming pool, etc. is still very practical.

The US is the victim of a fear campaign by anti-nuke activists, despite the fact that coal mining is a deadly occupation, killing more miners in one incident than have ever died in US nuke plants (none). Waste disposal is a problem yet to be solved, though. .... Open-pit coal mining ("strip mining") is the victim of the over-zealous enviroNazis, despite the fact that it is safer, and that many mining companies have restored the land when mining is finished, creating beautiful parklands or lakes for recreation.

Wind power is also under development and in active use here, although I imagine that in relation to population, the US has fewer places with consistent high wind than Finland. Most notably, the Columbia River Gorge, the pass in the mountains east of Oakland (east of San Francisco), and some other areas.

The late Senator Edward M. Kennedy blocked a windmill plant that was to be in the ocean, five miles (8km) offshore from his family's compound at Hyannisport, Massachusetts, because they would "ruin the view". Some environmentalist! Hypocrite! .. An artist's conception from the designs showed that you'd need binoculars or a telescope to see them, other than as maybe dots on the horizon.

To reduce pollution in Los Angeles, coal-fired power plants were built in relatively-uninhabited areas of Utah, near the coal mines there. Aside from the power loss in such long transmission lines (about 1000 km), what happened is that Los Angeles was spared the burden, but the Grand Canyon, one of the most scenic locations in the US or in the World, was becoming polluted, with the reduced visibility hurting tourism.

It's a complicated question without a single easy answer. We need to keep working, but I tend to be skeptical of those who think that they have some single magic answer. Incidentally, I once lived five miles from a very successful and safe nuke plant, and never gave it a second thought. Thanks for the interesting discussion.
Roving Ricky - May 18, 2011 - Report this comment
Pretty good song, maybe you should sell it to Amtrak as a jingle. I suppose CEO Boardman and US Veep Biden would be interested.

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