W – Water from Another Time…

John McCutcheon is a folk singer and player of all sorts of instruments including the hammer dulcimer.  I ran into this song of his on a cassette a friend gave me half a lifetime ago.  I write historical fiction, so the connections between one generation and the next have always fascinated and touched me.  This song is very special to me.

The lyrics and the words say it all.  Pity there isn’t a video there I like, so this beautiful photo of water will have to do.  A favorite of mine.  Listen to it. 

New mown hay on a July morn
Grandkids running through the knee-high corn
Sunburned nose and a scabbed-up knee
From the rope at the white oak tree

Just another summer’s day on Grandpa’s farm
With Grandma’s bucket hanging off my arm
You know, the old pump’s rusty but it works fine
Primed with water from another time

Chorus: It don’t take much, but you gotta have some
The old ways help the new ways come
Just leave a little extra for the next in line
They’re gonna need a little water from another time

Tattered quilt on the goose down bed
“Every stitch tells a story”, my Grandma said
Her mama’s nightgown, her Grandpa’s pants
And the dress she wore to her high school dance

Now wrapped at night in those patchwork scenes
I waltz with Grandma in my dreams
My arms, my heart, my life entwined
With water from another time


Newborn cry in the morning air
The past and the future are wedded there
In this wellspring of my sons and daughters
The bone and blood of living water

And, though Grandpa’s hands have gone to dust,
Like Grandma’s pump; reduced to rust,
Their stories quench my soul and mind
Like water from another time 

(c) 1985 John McCutcheon/Appalsongs (ASCAP)

One comment on “W – Water from Another Time…

  1. That's pretty. The waterfall pic works just fine:)

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