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Columbia's Waters

Recording | Tabs

Background: This song sets forth the lure of a few acres of land and a new chance of life as selling points for the Columbia River dam projects.  BPA’s lyrics differ slightly from later versions of this song.  The melody is borrowe from Jimmy Rodgers’ “Muleskinner Blues”.

Lyrics:

"Good Morning, Mister Sunshine!"
"Good morning, Man!" I'm just a stranger, travelin' 'cross y'r land;
Do y' need a good workhand
On your big Grand Coulee dam?

I'd like to settle down but I'm forced to ramble all o' my time,
I'd like to settle down with this wife and kids of mine;
But a place to settle down my family
Is a pretty hard place to find!

I like to work. I work every time I can!
I got a callous in the palms of both o' my hands!
This ramblin' around from town to town
Goes hard on a family man!

I said I like to work, I don't like to beg and steal!
The harder I'm a workin' the better it makes me feel!
But my wife and kid get juberous
Everytime they miss a meal!

I'm a hardrock man, I was born in a hardrock place!
Back in my home place I was a man of high degree!
Nobody with a triphammer
Can knock as big a hole as me.

This Columbia River
Rolls right down this line;
Columbia's waters taste like sparklin' wine;
Dustbowl waters taste like picklin' brine.

The money that I draw from workin' at your Coullee dam;
My wife will meet me at the kitchen door stretchin' out her hand;
She'll make a little down payment
On our forty acre tract of land.

We'll work along this river, I'll sing from sun to sun;
I'll walk along this grass and listen to the factory hum;
Look what I've done gone and done.

Take some sow from off this mountain, mix it with some wind and rain!
Take some metal from yer mountain, melt it up again;
Stir it up with powers from Coullee's dam,
And you've got a big sabre jet plane.

Take some water from this valley, mix it up with snow;
Take my ramblin' family rollin' down this road;
Mix it up with sunshine
And, man, you ought to see the green things grow!