Dave Dudley rural route 1 drought

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.”

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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

O Christmas Grease mp3 by Steve Anderson

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

the ballad of betty poop by steve anderson

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!

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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

singer-songwriter Jewel

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.

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

album cover art carney Music for Men Working

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 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.

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.

h2o mp3: Dope in the Water – Steve Anderson

We’re tickled to present you with a world premiere of sorts! The parody song “Dope In the Water” (sung to the tune of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple) was written and performed by Steve Anderson, Water Resources Analyst at Clean Water Services, Portland, Oregon. This is of course a timely issue since the release of the 2008 Associated Press study that claims at least 41 million Americans may be getting a bonus of drugs and pharmaceuticals in their water supply.

Steve Anderson

The song (which is awesomely hysterical, in my opinion!) came to the fore as part of a forum discussion about the use of humor in public communications. The bottom line: no clear consensus. Some communications professionals believe in the power of humor to communicate, some are mildly uncomfortable with the risk and others believe it is often misleading to a misinformed public.

I think everyone knows where I stand! As I wrote on the discussion thread,

I think the point of the song is to change behavior and to promote the safe disposal of pharmaceuticals, which in turn, reduces the treatment burdens. This is the part that the public can control, and thus, an effective message to send.

So thanks, Steve, and we hope lots of people are humming this when they refrain from bad habits that add “Dope in the Water!”

Play the track

Download Dope in the Water by Steve Anderson (mp3)


We flush them down our toilets
We wash ‘em down the drain
We take ‘em when we feel bad
We take ‘em for the pain
They come to us in the sewers
We’d treat ‘em all but we can’t
When they show up at the headworks
They pass right through the treatment plant

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

And what about them birth control pills?
At the outfall where the effluent swirls
Makin’ changes in the wildlife
Little boy fish look a lot like girls
And then we have our Prozac
Discharged by the very best
Don’t know how the fish like that
At least I guess they’re not depressed

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

My coffee in the morning
Can keep a fish awake at night
Painkillers might make ‘em feel good
But you know it just ain’t right
Cosmetics and perfumes, well
Just add to this witch’s brew
It’s high time to figure it out
Just what the hell this stuff can do

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

h2o mp3: Fresh Water (Blockhead Remix) – Bisco Smith

I suspect that this graphic artist/DJ/rapper is using “fresh water” as an analogy for art, music and creativity…more specifically, the struggle to create, keep one’s soul intact and be heard through economic, commercial and societal pressures.

But on the eve of World Water Day 2010, let’s don’t get carried away with analysis. It’s still a strong message taken literally. (Visit Bisco Smith on MySpace.)

Play the track


Download Fresh Water – Bisco Smith (Blockhead Remix)
Support the people who make music! Buy the track on or iTunes.

Lyrics Snip

Sip it slow
Let it settle and bake
these are freshwater flows
Yea its safe for you to drink

this one goes out to all the young ones growin up in the world we know
where the hustle gets sold on radios and television shows
but what you chase most of the time you can’t hold
and most of these people ain’t real
but you still there
cause you chasin the next meal
well we got fresh water for you
somethin clean with nutrients and vitamins, brand new
so swallow it, sip it, feel good

h2o mp3: Water in the Ground – Catherine MacLellan

This talented Canadian singer-songwriter provides us a perfect track for National Groundwater Awareness Week (a great idea since most of the populace has enough to worry about with the things that they CAN see.)

Water in the Ground is from MacLellan’s third 2009 release and is a melodic, clean, pure folk-influenced song that gets better with every listen. (Visit Catherine MacLellan’s website here.)

Play the track

Download Water in the Ground – Catherine MacLellan
Support the people who make music! Buy the CD at or from True North Records.


All the snow will melt into the stream
leading me back to where I want to be
right by your side
watching as the leaves pour out of the trees
everything’s alive, everything’s alive
never could guess you’d be the one
you said the world’s coming undone
tie em up together round and round
water from the heavens pouring in the ground