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Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper

Joe Offer 18 May 97 - 06:57 PM
Mountain Dog 19 May 97 - 10:23 AM
Darcy 26 May 97 - 07:48 PM
Joe Offer 25 Oct 97 - 03:44 AM
Mountain Dog 29 Oct 97 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Mult 27 Jan 07 - 04:41 PM
CapriUni 28 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM
M.Ted 28 Jan 07 - 04:47 PM
GUEST 22 Sep 07 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,visitor 28 Sep 07 - 04:40 PM
Barry Finn 29 Sep 07 - 12:51 AM
GUEST,cherokeeheart 18 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Jerusha 27 Nov 08 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,M.A. Ebert 21 Dec 08 - 05:58 PM
Suegorgeous 21 Dec 08 - 08:29 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 08 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Ross 04 Feb 09 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Feb 09 - 06:54 AM
Suegorgeous 04 Feb 09 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Jean 09 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,jrhammersmith 05 Apr 10 - 11:23 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 11 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 30 Dec 11 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Three Owls 15 Feb 12 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Becka 17 Jun 12 - 11:06 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 13 - 08:56 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 13 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 14 Jun 13 - 11:16 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 13 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,dan 29 Jun 13 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Ally 28 Jul 13 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 28 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 13 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 30 Jul 13 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Pete the Kiwi 01 Jul 14 - 06:53 PM
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Subject: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 May 97 - 06:57 PM

Somebody at our song circle came up with a fragment of what he thinks is a camp song, and he wonders if anyone can find the rest of the lyrics. What he remembers is something like:
    Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head
    Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead
    Whitcheee tie, tie. tie......
It sounds familiar, but I couldn't identify it. Anybody??

Thanks.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 19 May 97 - 10:23 AM

The tune is "Wich-i-tai-tai" (spelling's probably a bit off) by Brewer and Shipley (of "One Toke Over the Line" fame). The album came out right after the "Tarkio Road" album, has a brown cover and I'm *^#$! if I can remember the name of it right now. (I'll post again when it swims back into my ken...)

The song alternates verses in a Native American language - I would a guess a Plains tribal language - with English:

"Water spirits, springin, springin, round my head... etc."

Great harmonies and certainly a fine tune to sing around any campfire!

Thanks for bringing it back to mind.


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: Darcy
Date: 26 May 97 - 07:48 PM

The album was Weeds. I also heard the Native American part by itself (not a cut from the Brewer and Shipley album) on the local Native American radio program, but don't know who did that one.


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Oct 97 - 03:44 AM

Somebody asked about this song again at our song circle this evening. Can anybody come up with better lyrics?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: WATER SPIRITS (from Brewer & Shipley)
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 10:30 AM

Dear Joe,

The lyrics are pretty simple. Here's my best shot at 'em, with phonetic approximation of the Native American part.

Hope this helps!

WATER SPIRITS
(as performed by Brewer & Shipley on "Weeds")

Part 1:
Water spirits springin', springin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead
(Singin') Water spirits springin', springin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead

Part 2:
Wichi tai-tai,
Nee-mo-wah
Wo-rah-neeka, wo-rah-neeka
Hey-nay, hey-nay, no-wah
Wichi tai-tai,
Nee-mo-wah
Wo-rah-neeka, wo-rah-neeka
Hey-nay, hey-nay, no-wah
Wichi tai-tai,
No-wah
A-wichi tai-tai,
No-wah

Repeat Parts 1 & 2 in order, after which you can break it up into a round.


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: GUEST,Mult
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 04:41 PM

Wichi tai tai, timurai, Hura-nika, Hura-nika
Hey-ney, Hey-ney, Noh-wah

Wichi tai tai, timurai, Hura-nika, Hura-nika
Hey-ney, Hey-ney, Noh-wah


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM

I also learned it at a summer camp in the late 1970's, but with different words, and no information from our counselors other than it was "an ancient Indian Rain song." (Is there really much difference between plaigerism and "the folk process"?).

The version I learned was:

He-mo, tai, tai, He-mo lai, ("tai" rhymes with "lie")
Oh-wah nika, oh-wah nika
Hey-ney, Hey-ney oh-wan-nah

Water spirit, spirit, spirit
Spinning 'round my head
Makes me feel glad
That I'm not dead!

(repeat "He-mo, tai... etc." several times, singing slightly faster with each repetition).

Note #1: Before long, after a few rounds of this song, we came to expect the rumble of thunder...

Note #2: This was a camp for disabled children, and there were several deaf and hard of hearing kids. So maybe the lyrics were changed for the clarity of lip-reading. But that's just a spur of the moment guess, on my part.


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 04:47 PM

"Witchi Tai Tai" was written and performed by Jim Pepper, who, playing with his group, "Everything is Everything", had a hit single of the song, back in 1969--he was a jazz saxophonist and one of the pioneers of jazz/rock fusion, and was a Native American, of Creek and Kaw background. He learned a lot of Peyote chants and other tradtional songs from his father and grandfather, and created music based on that material. Witchi Tai Tai came from a chant he learned from his grandfather--


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 09:11 AM

jim pepper is the artist


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: GUEST,visitor
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:40 PM

I learned this in 1976 during Outward Bound trip and still sing it hiking.


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 12:51 AM

More on Jim Pepper the great international Jazz/roots musican Died 1992

Barry


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Subject: RE: Water Spirit Swingin' Round My Head????
From: GUEST,cherokeeheart
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM

There is also a recording by Peter "Wyoming" Bender, alternately titled Wichi Tai To or Wichi Tai Tai. The best version of the lyrics I've come up by listening to it (plus a version I found on line) goes like this:

Wichi tai-tai,
Nee-mo-wah
Wo-rah-neeka, wo-rah-neeka
Hey-nay, hey-nay, no-way
Wichi tai-to,
Nee-mo-wah
Wo-rah-neeka, wo-rah-neeka
Hey-nay, hey-nay, no-way

Water spirits feelin', springin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Jerusha
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:47 AM

I learned this version at a summer camp up in Oregon:

What a spirit, spring is ringin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead (repeat 2x)

(wrote this phonetically)
Witchie tai tai kee-moh-rye
Oh wa nicka oh wa nicka
Hey nay hey nay no-ah
(repeat 2x)

Three other verses:

What a spirit, summer's hummin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead (2x)

What a spirit, fall is callin' round my head etc

What a spirit, winter's whisperin' round my head etc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,M.A. Ebert
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:58 PM

I have been trying to find this song since hearing it just one time back in 1969 when I was 13. A friend and I heard it one night on a distant radio station with our transistor radio, and the lyrics and tune have stuck in my head all these years. I began to believe I just imagined it all until I googled and found this. I never foget it, and now I have it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:29 PM

Learnt this at UK summer dance/music camps years ago too - but just the Native American words, never heard the English ones.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:14 PM

Performed during Paul Winter's winter solstice concert at St. Johns in New YOrk City, Dec 18 2008, by John Carlos Perea, a native american of Apachee ancestory. Broadcast by NPR, there is supposed to be a freedown load on shop.npr.org


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pe
From: GUEST,Ross
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 06:41 AM

This got a lot of airplay on KPPC in the 70's and it made a big impression on me. The cadence showed up in other songs, like Rod Stewart's Maggie and Rainbow Song by Shawn Colvin.
Sweet and powerful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 06:54 AM

I remember a "witchy-tai-tai" chant among maybe a dozen chants sung at a Medicine Wheel ceremony led by Sun Bear in the 1970s. That doesn't necessarily make it any more authentic Native American (Sun Bear drew on sources both in and outside his own tradition), but the catchy phrase does seem to have gotten around.

Does anyone know if it means anything in any Native American language, or whether it's just nonsense syllables on the order of "fol dol derido?"

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 03:10 PM

Bob

I think there are several different chants which contain the phrase "witchy-tai-tai". I know of at least two.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Jean
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM

I heard this on a Daytona Top 40 station around '66-'67. The only part of the artists name was "... Family"

It sounded like "What a spirit feeling swinging 'round my head"
"Makes me feel glad I'm not dead"
"Witchy Tai Tai Ten go rah (Te mo ra?)"
"wo ron neeka wo ron neeka"
"Hey Hey ye nay no ah"

After a long search I found Brewer and Shipley "WEEDS" which was NOT the version I'd heard and am still looking for.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pe
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM

The lyrics to this song, as best as I can determine, are as follows:

Wichi Tai to
Gimm-eh rah
Ho rah neeko ho rah neeko
Hey neh hey ney no ah

(repeated twice, followed by:)

Water spirit's feeling running round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead

(repeat above chorus twice)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,jrhammersmith
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 11:23 PM

The song is from the Jim Pepper album,"Peppers Pow-Wow'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 04:07 PM

The song title is "Whitchi-tai-to". The original version is from the group EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING (album name is the same), and the song was written by the group's sax player, Jim Pepper. He was part Creek and part Kaw, and the chanted lyrics come from a Peyote Chant of the Native American Church; the chant is about water. Jim Pepper later recorded a somewhat different version of the song on his own album "JIM PEPPER'S POW-WOW".

The song was covered by Brewer and Shipley, who used slightly different lyrics in the English part.

English lyrics (Jim Pepper's original version):
Water spirit feelings springin' round my head
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead

The Indian lyrics, I can't be sure of. I don't speak the language, so I'd be trasncribing it phonetically. Most of what's been posted here is pretty close to what I hear:
Witchi tai tai himi ra
hora niko hora niko
he ne he ne no wa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 11:44 AM

Jim Pepper Lyrics



Song Title:Witchi Tai To

Artist / Band:Jim Pepper

Album:Unknown





Send "Witchi Tai To" as a Ringtone to Your Cell   

Witchi Tai To Lyrics


Witchi-Tie-To, Gimee Rah
whoa Rah Neeko, Whoa Rah Neeko
hey Ney, Hey Ney, No Way

witchi-Tie-To, Gimee Rah
whoa Rah Neeko, Whoa Rah Neeko
hey Ney, Hey Ney, No Way

http://www.6lyrics.com/witchi_tai_to-lyrics-jim_pepper.aspx

water Spirit Feelin'
springin' Round My Head
makes Me Feel Glad
that I'm Not Dead

witchi-Tie-Tie, Gimee Rah
whoa Rah Neeko, Whoa Rah Neeko
hey Ney, Hey Ney, No Way

witchi-Tie-Tie, Gimee Rah
whoa Rah Neeko, Whoa Rah Neeko
hey Ney, Hey Ney, No Way


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Three Owls
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:40 PM

My Choctaw brother gave me these lyrics:

Witchi-tai-to, shur-reh-rohn
shur-a-nick-a, shur-a-nick-a
Hey-ney, hey-ney, no-yah,
[repeat,]
Water Spirit moving spinning 'round my head
makes me feel glad that I'm not dead,
[and repeat]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Becka
Date: 17 Jun 12 - 11:06 AM

Can anyone translate the indian words to english?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:56 AM

Is there any online version of the song to listen too? I heard it on my local radio station and would love to hear it again, or share it on my fb page.
Thanks ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 11:44 AM

I found the song using my iPhone app "Spotify" which may be available for any computer/device... There is soooo much music available with that apps and others like it. Incredibly useful, and finding lost treasures...like this one. I'm combining it with Kum Ba Yah for a church concert...it works, believe it or not, with Kum ba Yah sung normally and double time, at the same time, coming in when Mr. Pepper's chanting begins.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 11:16 PM

This from Tom Grant http://tomgrant.com/witchi-tai-to-part-i
(Witchi Tai-to (Part I)
Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:38 pm on November 22, 2010
This is the most popular song I never wrote. It was written by the late Jim Pepper. Jim was a Native American who was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Portland, attending Madison and Parkrose high schools. He played the saxophone.   While in high school, he and my brother Mike ( a piano player) met and started a friendship based on their mutual interest in jazz music.
They went their separate ways after high school. My brother eventually burned out on music and was one of the founding members of the Hare Krishna movement. Pepper ended up in New York in a jazz fusion band called "Everything is Everything."   It was that band that had the original hit recording of Witchi Tai-to in around 1967. It made it to #69 in Billboard. I recorded it in New York with Pepper in about 1970 for a record called "Pepper's Pow-Wow." It featured Jim's dad Gilbert, Larry Coryell on guitar, Billy Cobham (was at the sessions, but I'm not sure if it was him on the WTT track or the other drummer at these sessions named Spider Rice). You can go onto YouTube and hear the original chant version on the "Pepper's Pow Wow" album, along with version II of the song.
I started playing with Jim in the early 70's at a place in NE Portland called Ray's Helm. The song Witchi Tai-to was a huge hit with the Pepper fans.   So we would sometimes end up playing it several times a night. People would be writhing, all tranced-out on the dance floor.   Sometimes highly altered Helm patrons would come up out of the audience to get on stage and sing it with us. People would fall into the front row tables, get back up and on stage to continue the chant.
Witchi Tai-to became a kind of cult classic. Kids sang it around campfires. It was recorded by other prominent artists: Brewer and Shipley, Jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek, the group Oregon, many others including me. And Pepper recorded it several times more himself over the years.
Many of my fans think I wrote the song. Wrong. I loved the song and I think always played it in a way that reflected that. I never get tired of it. It has a truly transcendent quality. It was based on a ritual peyote chant that Pepper learned from his family. Although Jim (nor his parents who taught him the chant) never knew what the words meant, the song weaves a kind of spell based on it's pure simplicity.   But there's one wrinkle in that simplicity: the whole song is based on a 6 bar chord progression. This is unusual since most pop…(and jazz tunes for that matter), use 8 bar progressions.   So when the first verse of the native lyrics finish, the singer is in the midst of the chord progression. So get out your guitars, pianos, mouth organs etc. and here's how it works.   This is my best attempt at a phonetic treatment of the native (Comanche) lyrics.
Dmaj                                       Dmaj/C                                  Bmin                Gmaj
Witchi tai tai   gimerah   wo-rah-nee-ko wo-rah-nee-ko   hey ney hey ney no ah
Emin                                       A7                                          Dmaj                   Dmaj/C
Witchi tai tai   gimerah   wo-rah-nee-ko wo-rah-nee-ko   hey ney hey ney no ah
Bm                                           Gmaj
Water spirit feelin' springin' round my head
Em                                    A7
Makes me feel glad that I'm not dead… Witchi
Dmaj                         Dmaj/C                                       Bmin               Gmaj
Tai tai   gimerah   wo-rah-nee-ko wo-rah-nee-ko   hey ney hey ney no ah Witchi
Emin                         A7                                              Dmaj                   Dmaj/C
tai tai   gimerah   wo-rah-nee-ko wo-rah-nee-ko   hey ney hey ney no ah
***************************************************
Every chord change starts a new bar (measure). Notice that the English verse starts at the 3rd bar of the chord progression but ends at the end of the progression, thereby kind of righting the ship. For a moment anyway. So, this may be too "inside baseball" for many of you, but at least you get a look at the Comanche lyrics the way Jim intended them. If you listen to the Brewer and Shipley version of the song, they don't get the Native OR the English lyrics right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 01:47 PM

In the 70s i used to watch Jim Pepper sitting in with Tom Grant all the time. at the Helm, and they regularly performed that song. It was a great jazz club, which sadly is a Subway shop now. I also had a recording of Tom Grant's song Workers of the World, with lyrics, which I gave him a copy of years later, since I heard he did not have (it was part of a 3 song demo he sent off to LA.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,dan
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 02:19 AM

i do still perform one of Jim's songs - it is just a really lite swingning that he would always start with do WOO be OPP do Da dah - but his solo on the live germany CD - he sounds just like an eagle soaring - he is so out there soaring above - then he makes whole chords on the sax - i cant play it like that - i can play the head tho!! The last time i saw Jim he lost $50 to Richard Burdell on a Nerfball basketbell shot when we were all too drunk after a gig. lol Burdell really had the shot down - two walls and a ceiling, no one else could verify it, no one else could verify it except Glen Holstrom - another awesome keyboard player that was there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Ally
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:15 PM

you can hear the song here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkVjd1fJMM

Witcha-tai-to


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM

It does my heart good to think of kids sitting around a campfire singing a peyote song.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 01:10 PM

I agree, BigDaddy. But my heart trembles at the thought of some Prudish Parent stopping kids from singing a damn good song.

-Joe, who has been impeded by Prudish Parents many times-
       Impeded, But Never Defeated


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Subject: RE: ADD: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 08:04 AM

The acoustic jazz-fusion (for want of a better term) group Oregon used to do a wonderful instrumental version of this song. It's on their album Out Of The Woods, and a couple of their other releases as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Water Spirits / Witchi Tai To (Jim Pepper
From: GUEST,Pete the Kiwi
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 06:53 PM

I listen to & sing along to this constanly at work, in the car.

Timeless & spiritual. I found it after wanting to know what the song was on the soundtrack of Sleepers as it had so much power & meaning with the scene with Ron Eldard (John Reilly in the 1996 film Sleepers)when he saw the man who had tormented & abused him as a child.
After having a few beverages I found the original (I welled up with emotion at this song, it over time it purged me somehow) & now it's like an old friend.

Every other version I've heard seems like a pale imitation of this...

Everything Is Everything Witchi Tai To lyrics

(CHORUS)
Witchi tai tai, hemorah
Hora nika, hora nika
Hey nay, hey nay, noah
Witchi tai tai, hemorah
Hora nika, hora nika
Hey nay, hey nay, noah

Water spirit feeling
Springing round my head
Makes me feel glad
That I'm not dead

(CHORUS) 2X

Water spirit feeling
Springing round my head
Makes me feel glad
That I'm not dead

(CHORUS) 2X

Water spirit feeling
Springing round my head
Makes me feel glad
That I'm not dead

(CHORUS)

Youtube (Original version Vanguard Apostolic. Produced by Danny Weiss for 10th Street productions)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg9LT4qR_Dw&list=RDSg9LT4qR_Dw#t=0

Witchi Tai To playing in scene

R.I.P Jim Pepper.


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