Living Downstream

I have now officially given up trying not to write songs about water. Maybe it’s because they always come to me in the shower? This one started in yesterday’s shower, second verse in today’s (26 Oct 2009), and third verse kept me walking around town until it finished up, on a balcony overlooking the creek.

I decided not to write it down until it was finished, which added a sense of urgency and may have helped streamline the lyrics. Then I recorded a crappy draft on the computer in my office.

4 September 2017: I got around to recording it “for real” - still just guitar and vocal, but trying out a new approach that I hope will help me get more of these songs down and done, quick and organic.


I live in a city named after a city,
In a neighborhood named for a creek,
Which is named for a falls - which is named… for the city…
And when I see that waterfall I can’t speak

Because the names wash away with the falling,
And my thoughts wash away with the names,

And my heart fills with love for that water
Till it’s so full that I hope it won’t leak.

I’ve been given a daughter, whom I’ve given my name
(Though another one day she may take).
I watched her flow into this bright and deep world,
And I’ll watch her flow out to the lake.

She ripples and babbles and chuckles,
And runs long where she’s pulled by the earth,

And my heart fills with love for that daughter
Till it’s so full that I pray it won’t break.

I live in a city that’s floating on water
And I’m rowing my boat in a dream.
Before me, my father; behind me, my daughter;
I wonder who’s coxing this team?

And the names wash away with the motion,
And the story flows out of the scene,

And my heart fills with love for this story
Till it’s so full it cascades downstream…
Forever cascading downstream.


TJW: guitar, vocals

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Very nice!

Very nice!


Simple and sweet … like a musical gesture drawing. I like it a lot — thanks for sharing!

Thanks so much!

Thanks so much! Feedback is very motivating. :)