1. River Rap

From the recording River Rap


Bye Bye Mississippi; a Mississippi River Bye Bye.

I've been swimming the river and I've got to say
that that water is rising and it's coming our way
you be dyking and damming and holding it back,
but the river keeps right on taking out the slack.
You can take away the flood plain, but then you'll complain
when the river takes it back again in the spring rain.
You can handle it; channel it; or make it just so;
well why not try and go with the flow.
Say, don't you know a river follows a winding route
and it just becomes a channel when you straighten it out.

Army Engineers they're keepin' real busy,
Startin' new projects it's makin' me dizzy.
Like a pack of beavers with nothin' to do
buildin' that dike, that dam, levee or two.
An every levee effects both banks and downstream
and they've been buildin' 'em all the way to New Orleans.
And after decades of buildin' just to wipe out the wet lands,
Well, they're startin' new projects just to put 'em back, man.
Like with Weaver Bottoms we've got 'em and I'm so glad to see
that we're finally givin' something back to that old Mississippi
It's a little late...It's a little light...But it's still all right.

Barge loads of goods going out to the sea.
It's a shot in the arm for the econ-o-mie,
But take a second look 'cause nothing's free
and it's paid for with taxes from you and me.
With continual dredging and dams to maintain,
Well, I wonder why they didn't just fix up the trains?
Say, is that a socialism?.. or just a subsidy?
when the industry pays us back with a token fee.

Churning props and heavy wakes
kicking up sediment and eroding the place.
Well, the water won't settle for a couple of hours
because of the barges' incredible powers
and on the lower river it never stops
during shipping season it's a solid hip hop.
And that new lock and dam at Alton Illinois
It's bound to increase upriver traffic, boys.
And as a super highway the rivers bound to have it's limits.
I think we've reached it, so I'm getting in it.

People building towns all up and down that river route
You've got your water inlets upstream
and then your sewage coming out.
You may think it's clean, upstream, but it's probably not.
It's like drinking and pissing in the same pot.

And there's sewage and poison and toxic waste
from spraying and dumping all over the place
from farm, factory, front lawn garden and golf course
We've gotta face facts, folks... we are the source.

But there's biomats, filters and crop rotation -
with a little common sense - we could still save the patient.

Fourth of July,
Freedom and such,
Yankee Doodle
and all that stuff.
Let me say implicitly; without freedom from toxicity
We ain't got much.

It's gonna cost some and profits may not be so high,
but you do not miss your water until your well runs dry.
With surface and ground water that interconnect, they're
both sources of life, so let's show some respect.

There's an abundance of water on this prime planet
we've got so much that we take it for granted,
but we become the foooooool when we find
that salt water just won't get it for us most of the time.
You know, you know... when cities spring up next to the sea
they pipe in their water... or they remain thirsty.

So when you see that river, and that could be any river,
heading out to the ocean, I want you to remember,
You can not contain it; for it's always in motion.
I want you to say, "Hello! How are you?" and then say,
"Good bye"... Say, "Bye bye, Mr. or Mrs. Sippi River,
a Mississippi River Bye Bye."
Say, "Hello! "How are you and then say "Bye bye"
Say "Bye Bye" Hudson River,
Say bye-bye East, North, West & South Rivers;

Say Bye-bye, Delaware, Ohio, Chicago, Cuyahoga, Columbia, Colorado, Milwaukee, Rock, Fox, Snake, Suwannee, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Rio Grande, Kinnikinic, Atchafalaya, Amazon, Paraguay, Thames, Tiberous, Tigris & Euphrates, Nile, Elb, Rhine, Danube, Ganges, Meekong, Russian, Volga, Yangtzee, Yukon, Yellow, Red, Black, Blue & Brown Rivers...