We all need water, man! I’m Farming and I Grow It

Farming we all need waterHappy July 4th from Kansas, where farming is still as vital to our lives and livelihoods as it was for Americans 236 years ago. Spiraling and viraling it’s way around the internet is this great parody music video from the Peterson Brothers of Kansas. “I’m Farming and I Grow It” is a catchy take-off on LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It.

What I want you to know, though, is that it includes a nod to agriculture’s most important resource, water. Below, ThirstyInSuburbia helps you skip right to the good water part at 2:15. Read more

h2o mp3: Drought – Dave Dudley

Dave Dudley rural route 1 droughtIn a classic country song there’s rarely just one misfortune; the bad luck and the soul crushers just keep piling on, like some kind of perverted torture sandwich. In the song Drought just when our hero is thinkin’ it can’t get any worse, what with his good woman takin’ off, next comes a crop killin’ drought ready to destroy his already tough hardscrapple farming existence. And what man can fix that?

The late Dave Dudley (1928-2003) was pumping out the country from the sixties through the eighties and in that hard-working Nashville way recorded more than 70 albums during his career. (Drought is from his fifth album Rural Route 1, released in 1965.) You may remember Dudley as the musical muse for truckers. His biggest hit, Six Days on the Road, was the song that started that whole big-rig trucker music craze in the 1960s.

So have a listen and if you want ol’ Dave’s recommendation for dealing with drought: “Pray with the coming of each dawn that this crop killing drought will be gone.”

Play and download the track

Drought – Dave Dudley

Lyrics

You can dam out the water and shut the wind out
But a man ain’t been born who can destroy a drought

There’s a hot screaming wind at my door
but I just don’t care anymore
There’s a crop killing drought on the way
and my good woman she left me today

Oh she stayed just as long as she could
but then the farm has not treated us good
She begged me to pack up and go
but then farming is all that I know

You can dam out the water and shut the wind out
But a man ain’t been born who can destroy a drought

She cried as if I were to blame
but the Lord knows I can’t make it rain
There’s a hot screaming sun up in the sky
it’s so still I can hear the grass die
So I’ll wait for the coolness of dark
and bear up to this pain in my heart
And I’ll pray with the coming of each dawn
that this crop killing drought will be gone

You can dam out the water and shut the wind out
But a man ain’t been born who can destroy a drought

h2o mp3: O Christmas Grease

O Christmas Grease mp3 by Steve AndersonHappy Holidays! And to celebrate the season, a gift for you: an all-new h2o mp3 from Steve Anderson, the water world’s funniest singer-songwriter and an advocate for free-flowing pipes and sewers everywhere!

In his newest original wastewater hit O Christmas Grease we are reminded that the FOG is rolling in this holiday season, and that there’s a right and wrong method to dispose of the nasty by-products of high-fat Christmas cookery. Read more

h2o mp3: The Ballad of Betty Poop

the ballad of betty poop by steve andersonJust when you thought Steve Anderson couldn’t top Dope in the Water and Fats Oils & Grease, along comes his newest awesome, original creation, The Ballad of Betty Poop, and we’re obviously thrilled to premiere it here!

Steve is a Water Resources Analyst at Clean Water Services in Portland, Oregon and has been known to whip out the guitar and play this educational number for visiting groups of schoolchildren. Not only do they get a great giggle out of it, but they learn something, too. Of course they do! Anyone who’s visited Thirsty in Suburbia for more than 5 seconds knows we’re BIG believers in the power of humor to engage and educate

Steve Anderson

So if you’d like to help kids (or adults) better understand water quality and how our wastewater systems work, spare them the earnest preachiness and Powerpoints. Instead play them this hysterical song following Betty Poop, Tom TP and G.I. Joe as they journey through the far-reaches of the wastewater system. You’ll make a much bigger impact, trust me!

Play the track

The Ballad of Betty Poop – Steve Anderson

Lyrics: The Ballad of Betty Poop

Betty was a poop
Betty Poop was her name
Life in a bowl was kind of a drag
But Betty didn’t like to complain

TP Tom was toilet paper
He was Betty’s best friend
He wondered about the world outside
Where the sewer pipes came to an end

And then there was this G.I. Joe
He was just a plastic toy
He didn’t really belong in there
He was dropped there by a careless boy

Betty, Tom, and G.I. Joe
All shared the same improbable dream
To be outside and floating free
Upon a shimmering stream

Give it up, you toilet treasures!
It won’t happen ‘cuz it can’t
You’ll never make all the way to the river
Won’t make it past the treatment plant

There came a time when they had their chance
As a hand reached down to flush
The three of them started swirling around
They were headed down in a rush

But suddenly the water slowed down
It looked like they were out of luck
G.I. Joe was in a jam
He couldn’t move because he was stuck

Betty and Tom had made it out
They looked around for G.I. Joe
And then a plunger saved the day
Once again the water flowed

Give it up, you toilet treasures!
It won’t happen ‘cuz it can’t
You’ll never make it all the way to the river
Won’t make it past the treatment plant

The three of them, they had it rough
As they traveled down the sewer pipe
But they kept going, they wouldn’t give up
“Cuz you know they’re just not that type

When they made it to the treatment plant
They saw a bar screen – then they knew
Betty and Tom would pass on by
But Joe would never make it through

Now Joe was gone, and the water was calm
But the situation still was dire
TP Tom was sinking fast
To the bottom of a clarifier

Give it up, you toilet treasures!
It won’t happen ‘cuz it can’t
You’ll never make it all the way to the river
Won’t make it past the treatment plant

Betty made it to the aeration basin
So much smaller than she was before
Been through so much, but she didn’t know
There was still so much more in store

Air bubbles battered poor Betty
Until she melted right into the soup
That was the food for a billion bugs
Then there was no more Betty Poop

Now Betty and Tom aren’t totally gone
They have just settled down
They became part of the biomass
I guess they’re biosolid now

Give it up, you toilet treasures!
It won’t happen ‘cuz it can’t
You’ll never make it all the way to the river
Won’t make it past the treatment plant

Give it up, you toilet treasures!
It won’t happen ‘cuz it can’t
You’ll never make it all the way to the river
Won’t make it past the treatment plant
Won’t make it past the treatment plant
No, won’t make it past the treatment plant

The Speedo Symphony

It’s a rare occasion when something can make me fall over laughing at the weekend’s dead end, but this did! (The first 20 seconds are must-see TV!) Goofy as this seems, 74-year old Hermeto Pascoal is a well-known and respected Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist. Nature is a recurring theme in his body of works, as in Música da Lagoa in which that water burbling you did as a kid in the tub becomes seriously arty musicial expression. Too bad they didn’t cover “Tiny Bubbles!”

h2o mp3: Kansas City Water (Live) – Jewel

singer-songwriter JewelYou likely know singer-songwriter Jewel for her impressive musical talent; many also know her as a champion for water issues. During her June 2010 concert in Kansas City (I didn’t get to go!) she and collaborator Steve Poltz wrote and performed an exclusive song about Kansas City’s fine tap water (and barbeque!) and lucky for us, I’ve come across an mp3!

While you’re listening, check out Project Clean Water, a foundation that Jewel established in 1997 that aims to improve the quality of life for millions of people by helping to provide clean water on a global scale. That’s music to our ears! According to her official website, she became interested in water issues when…

I was 18 and lived in my car. I had sick kidneys and had to drink 2 gallons of purified water a day. I could not afford to buy much bottled water, and it dawned on me that if it was this hard to get clean drinking water in the United States, then it was probably a huge global issue. Boy, was I right.

Jewel Kansas City Tap Water (Live)

Lyrics:
If I was gonna have a glass of tap water
Where would it be do you suppose
Maybe St. Louis or old Chicago
I have to say that the answer is no
City of Fountains
City of Chiefs
City of Royals
City of Beef (?)
KC water taste like Champagne
Kansas City, Paris of the Plains

h2o mp3: The Song of the Sewer – Art Carney

album cover art carney Music for Men WorkingToday we raise (or lower?) our glasses to the king of sewer workers, Ed Norton, as portrayed by Art Carney in the iconic fifties teevee classic The Honeymooners. The versatile Carney also recorded prolifically in the 1950s for Columbia Records, including the 1954 hit “The Song of the Sewer” sung in character as Norton.

Art Carney – The Song of the Sewer

Lyrics
Art Carney as Ed Norton, Sewer WorkerI work in the sewer,
It’s a very hard job.
You know they won’t hire
Just any old slob.
You don’t have to wear
A tie or a coat.
You just have to know
How to float.

Chorus:
We sing the song of the sewer
Of the sewer we sing this song.
Together we stand
With shovel in hand
To keep things rollin’ along.

I work down the manhole
With a guy named Bruce.
And we are in charge
Of all the refuse.
He lets me go first
While he holds the lid.
I’m telling you, sheesh…
What a sweet kid.
A funny thing happened
To Bruce yesterday.
The tide came along
He got carried away.
He come out in Jersey.
But it’s O.K. now.
Cause that’s where
He lives anyhow.
My father he worked
In the sewer Uptown.
I followed his footsteps
And worked my way down.
That’s how I began
In this here industry.
I just sort of fell into it.
Sheesh, lucky me.

Bust a Move At Your Next Science Fair

Electronic Music combined with a lecture on the electrolysis of water? There’s probably only a handful of people in the world who can appreciate this. I’m proud to say I’m one of them! This is science with a great beat you can dance to, so get up, get on the floor! (Before you go there… the geek truth patrol has already debated the finer points on the video’s YouTube page.)

Timesaving tip: the impatient are advised to skip ahead to the 2:00 mark where the pace picks up considerably.