Ecology · Songwriting

See How The Water Flows

Another month, another song.

Sometime last year, I heard a talk by theologian Ched Myers. He lives in Northern California, near the coast, and was talking about the way that biodiversity in his area has been affected by loss of water. Further upstream, industry is taking so much water off the river that the river has run dry downstream.
Another story I heard at roughly the same time from a different source concerned the Jordan Valley, and how in a similar way, Israeli farms and industries were using so much of the river water, that there was not enough for people downstream.
As I write this, I thought I would check just to see that I had remembered this correctly. So I googled: Amost Trust
water scarcity Jordan valley.
(I included Amos Trust in the search as I know them as a small civil rights organisation working in Palestine/Israel)
The 6th hit down on the page was here – check it out.

Water scarcity is already a big problem, but it will reach crisis proportions for more and more people as time goes on.

Hearing these stories, I wrote down – And the water’s flowing freely, but never to our door. Water is both a material reality, and metaphor. It felt like I could write a song with that line in that could speak to both the reality of water scarcity and to situations of inequality, where a few have access to resources that are denied to the many.

The line stayed in my notebook for well over a year. Eventually I came back to it and wrote the song, Waterfall. You can listen to the song here.


She wanted freedom -but there’s was nowhere for her to go
It’s hard to choose between a bus ticket and a winter coat

See how the water flows
Freely the waters flow
But never to her door
Never to her door

He always thought – Just stand in line and it would come to you
It might take time, but you would get to the front of the queue

See how the water flows
Freely the waters flow
But never to his door
No never to his door

See how the water flows
Ask if the water chose
For some to have it all
While others are in hell ?

Cool water
Cool, cool water
Water flowing free
Water flowing free

See how the water flows
What if the water chose
To be a waterfall
So no one is in hell.

See how the water flows
Say that the water chose
To be a waterfall
To pour upon us all.

Cool water …

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