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Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)

DigiTrad:
COOL WATER
LET'S PRETEND


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Daddy's Little Cowboy (Sons of...Pioneers (12)
Lyr Req: Destiny (Sons of the Pioneers) (4)
Sons of the Pioneers (27)
Lyr Req: Bob Nolan (Sons of Pioneers) (11)
Lyr Req: Way Out There (Bob Nolan) (15)
Lyr Req: Tumbling Tumbleweeds (Bob Nolan) (24)
Lyr Req: At the Rainbow's End (Bob Nolan) (5)
Lyr Req: My Best to You (from Sons of the Pioneers (3)
Lyr Req: Way Out There (Bob Nolan) (12)
Obit: Johnny Vipperman (Sons of Pioneers) Jan 2007 (2)
Lyr Req: Bob Nolan's Outlaws (6)
Lyr Req: taste of water? / Cool Water (Bob Nolan) (10)
Lyr Add: Let's Pretend (Bob Nolan) (3)
Help: sons of the pioneers (5)


GUEST,DrWord 08 Mar 07 - 10:45 AM
Scoville 08 Mar 07 - 01:08 PM
12-stringer 08 Mar 07 - 01:58 PM
Mr Happy 07 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 07 Apr 08 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 07 Apr 08 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 07 Apr 08 - 10:00 AM
Mr Happy 07 Apr 08 - 10:23 AM
Warsaw Ed 14 Jul 08 - 10:44 PM
Ron Davies 14 Jul 08 - 11:12 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 08 - 02:13 AM
cptsnapper 15 Jul 08 - 03:36 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 08 - 02:54 PM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM
cptsnapper 16 Jul 08 - 02:23 AM
Mr Happy 16 Jul 08 - 06:32 AM
Mr Happy 16 Jul 08 - 07:43 AM
Seamus Kennedy 19 May 09 - 01:50 AM
Genie 19 May 09 - 03:08 AM
Seamus Kennedy 19 May 09 - 03:18 AM
Peace 20 May 09 - 01:58 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 May 09 - 02:19 AM
cptsnapper 20 May 09 - 02:50 AM
Joe Offer 20 May 09 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Elizabeth McDonald/Calin Coburn 08 Jun 09 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 08 Jun 09 - 11:32 PM
Seamus Kennedy 09 Jun 09 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 09 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM
Genie 19 Aug 09 - 01:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM
Mr Happy 20 Aug 09 - 04:05 AM
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Subject: Cool Water ... date?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 10:45 AM

can someone date the Bob Nolan tune 4 me? Thanks.
Dennis


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Subject: RE: Cool Water ... date?
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 01:08 PM

On the hit parade in 1941. I assume it was written shortly before that (it sounds like it) and not significantly earlier, but I couldn't find an actual publication date.


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Subject: RE: Cool Water ... date?
From: 12-stringer
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 01:58 PM

Recorded by the SOP on 27 March 1941, in Chicago (Decca). NB that the group were out of the studio between December 1937 and March 1941, so their song list for the session need not be construed as all written specifically for the date. Bob Atcher did a cover of "Cool Water" for Okeh, 13 June 1940, months before the SOP recorded it themselves, and it must have been in circulation by then.

According to IMDb, the song is featured in Community Sing: Songs of the West, a Columbia musical short subject starring the SOP, which was filmed in mid or late 1938 and released on 2 February 1939. This suggests it was probably written sometime after Dec 1937 (the group's last date with Vocalion) but before the end of 1938.


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Subject: Lyr Add: COOL WATER (Bob Nolan)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM

The DT version has a verse missing.

Here's the whole thing:

COOL WATER.
(Bob Nolan, 1936)

All day I've faced a barren waste
Without a taste of water
Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burnt dry
And souls that cry for water
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS
Keep a-moving' Dan, don't you listen to him, Dan
He's a devil, not a man, and he spreads the burning sand
With water.
Dan, can you see that big green tree
Where the water's running free and its waiting there for you
And me.

The nights are cool and I'm a fool
Each star's a pool of water
Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn
And carry on to water
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS

The shadows sway and seem to say
Tonight we'll pray for water
Cool water.
And way up there he'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:10 AM

Another (but incomplete - memory fade) verse :-

Dans Feet are sore he's yearning for
????????
Cool Water
Like me I guess he'd like to rest
where theres no quest
For Water
Cool Clear Water

chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:56 AM

Blackhawk`s ommission;-
Dan`s feet are sore and he`s yearning for just one thing more than water. Coooooool water.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:00 AM

Thanks John - thats the bit ....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:23 AM

Here's Marty Robbins with the short version: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RxAQwMNXlic


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Warsaw Ed
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 10:44 PM

Just WHO is the Dan referred to in the lyrics?

Any clue?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 11:12 PM

Dan is of course just a generic horse, in all probability--a very common name for a cowboy's horse.    But one of the most famous horses of the turn of the 20th century was Dan Patch--is there a link there--who knows?

By the way, thanks, Mr. Happy, for that link to Marty Robbins singing. He really was wonderful--one of the alltime best in C & W-- and it's such a joy to see and hear him singing some of the songs they have on YouTube.


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Subject: ADD Version: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 02:13 AM

OK, so here's the whole thing, with everything consolidated. One Sons of the Pioneers recording leaves out the last (feet are sore) verse.

COOL WATER
(Bob Nolan, 1936)

All day I've faced a barren waste
Without the taste of water,
Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burnt dry
And souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS
Keep a-moving' Dan, don't you listen to him, Dan,
He's a devil, not a man, and he spreads the burning sand
With water.
Dan, can you see that big green tree
Where the water's running free and it's waiting there for me
And you.

The nights are cool and I'm a fool,
Each star's a pool of water,
Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn
And carry on to water,
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS

The shadows sway and seem to say,
Tonight we pray for water,
Cool water.
And way up there he'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water,
Cool, clear water.

CHORUS

Dan's feet are sore, he's yearning for
Just one thing more than water,
Cool water.
Like me I guess he'd like to rest
Where there's no quest
For water,
Cool, clear water.

(no chorus at the end)


Transcribed from two recordings by the Sons of the Pioneers. Since Songwriter Bob Nolan was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, I think I'm going to claim this as the definitive transcription - although I acknowledge that other artists had variations.

One version has "Tonight we'll pray for water." The other doesn't have the final "Dan's feet are sore" verse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: cptsnapper
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 03:36 AM

I seem to recollect that I've heard a verse which was something like

    I gaze at the sky and way up high at night my thoughts they wonder to cool water
    The coyotes howl, the wind is cool: each star's a pool of water, cool clear water

Or am I just imagining it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 02:54 PM

Hi, cptsnapper - My transcription is from a recording by the Sons of the Pioneers, and songwriter Bob Nolan was a member of that group. So, I think my transcription is accurate. That being said, I think your version works better than the second verse of the original, about waking and yawning with the dawn.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM

I have the SoP singing all the verses.

Also a radio interview with Roy Rogers (one of my yodeling heroes) talking about the early days when he was just Leonard Slye from Cincinnati singing with the Pioneer Trio - Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer being the other two.

Bob Nolan was a poetic genius IMO, for his evocative imagery, especially of the Southwest.

A little topic for discussion: In Cool Water we assume that Dan and his rider survive the desert.
But did they die in the Jim Reeves song "The Blizzard/Mary Ann's"?

"Get up Dan, you ornery cuss, or you'll be the death of us,
It's just 100 yards to Mary Ann's."

Same Dan, same rider?

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: cptsnapper
Date: 16 Jul 08 - 02:23 AM

I've been racking my brains as to where I might have heard the verse that I mentioned & it may have been the B side of Walk Right In by the Rooftop Singers but I don't have a copy so I can't verify that as being the case. And of course it might just be that I'm suffering from brain fade!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Jul 08 - 06:32 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Nolan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Jul 08 - 07:43 AM

Joe O,

Just checked out the chorus of the version you posted.

Yours has
'Dan, can you see that big green tree
Where the water's running free and it's waiting there for me
And you.'

It should be 'and it's waiting there for you and me'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 19 May 09 - 01:50 AM

Actually, Mr. Happy, Joe is correct.
I have the same recording of Bob Nolan (the author) singing Cool Water, and they definitely sing:

Where the water's running free
And it's waiting there for me and you.'

I presume Bob Nolan wrote it hat way for the syllabic scansion of tree, free and me, although IMO 'you and me' sings better.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Bob Nolan
From: Genie
Date: 19 May 09 - 03:08 AM

My recordings of the song correspond to what Joe Offer posted also.

cptsnapper, I'm having trouble 'hearing' how your verse would scan

This part would fit the pattern of the verses:
"The coyotes howl, the wind is cool,
each star's a pool of water,
cool clear water."
(Though it lacks the internal-rhyme precision of Nolan's other lyrics.)

But this part doesn't seem to fit the pattern and rhyme scheme:
"I gaze at the sky and way up high at night,
My thoughts they wander to cool water."
or
"I gaze at the sky and way up high,
at night my thoughts they wander to
cool water."


Seamus, I always forget whether it's actually "for me and you" or "for you and me" at the end of the chorus, but it seems more natural to sing:
Dan, can't you see
That big green tree
Where the water's running free
And it's waiting there for me
And you.

I guess that's what you meant by the "syllabic scansion" reference. I think it "sings better" for that reason too. (But I doubt that the audience cares one way or the other.)

G


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 19 May 09 - 03:18 AM

Genie - I prefer 'you and me' because I like the rhyme to be at the end of the line and not in the middle.

But that was the genius of Bob Nolan.
Without the music, his songs stand alone as well-crafted poems.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Peace
Date: 20 May 09 - 01:58 AM

I put more dimes in the juke box listening to this and El Paso. Hell, I could be a hundredaire now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 May 09 - 02:19 AM

Bruce - your taste is impeccable!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: cptsnapper
Date: 20 May 09 - 02:50 AM

Genie unfortunately I made a slight mistake in my original posting of the lyric as I remembered it: I now think that it was as follows.
    I gaze at the sky and way up high at night my thoughts they wander to cool clear water
    The coyotes howl, the wind is cool: each star's a pool of water, cool clear water."

It was definitely recorded by the Rooftop Singers but I've lost my copy so I can't verify the above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cool Water: Missing verse
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 09 - 02:52 AM

Hi, Mr. Happy. I think I've heard it both ways, but both Sons of the Pioneers recordings have:
    Where the water's running free and it's waiting there for me
    And you.

Since Bob Nolan was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, I'll stick with their version. The Riders in the Sky trio recording has "you and me." "You and me" is what you would expect, but it you study the metrical pattern, I think you'll find that Nolan's "me first" rhyme fits perfectly but subtly.

Bob Nolan was one heck of a good songwriter.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: GUEST,Elizabeth McDonald/Calin Coburn
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 07:20 PM

Any and all questions concerning Bob Nolan and his music can be seen at the most comphrehsive site in the world to date.

www.bobnolan-sop.net


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 11:32 PM

I have a recording of the 1934 recordings of The Sons of the Pioneers.
Cool Water is on this record as is Tumblin' Tumbleweeds. The harmoies are so tight and the recording was done in one take each time and the best take was chosen for the pressing. No Auto Tune for this Boy Band.

If Roy Roger, Bob Nolan, and Tim Spencer were the vocal heart of the band, Hugh and KLarl Farr were the musical heart. The Farr brothers on guitar and fiddle sound as good as Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Under appreciated because it was just cowboy music. Listen close and this is some hot swing.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 09:12 AM

Don, you are absolutely correct, sir!

Joe Venuti and Eddy Lang, Django and Stephane, and Hugh and Karl Farr - the three top fiddle/guitar combos in my opinion. No particular order.

But when you get 3-part yodeling harmony as well...it's enough to make your sphincter tingle...

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM

I grew up in a western ranching area in California. Tumbleweeds were common to see; the wind rolling them along the ground and causing their seeds to disperse. I had always loved the sound of The Sons of the Pioneers, most particularly I loved the two songs mentioned in this thread. Imagine my chagrin at learning that the actual common name for the tumbleweed is Russian Thistle, a weed which likely hitched a ride in an early shipment of flax seed to South Dakota in the 1880's. I doubt you would have found tumbleweeds anywhere in the west prior to that time. It quickly became so widespread people thought it had been here forever.

To heck with it; I still like the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 01:45 PM

I'm wondering when the last verse ("Dan's feet are sore ... ") was added.
Presumably that verse is also by Bob Nolan, but I DK if it was part of the original song and just left off of the original Sons Of Pioneers recording.

The song was written by Nolan 5 years before the 1941 SOP recording, and it was recorded by Dude Martin that year (1936).

Also, Wikipedia and other sites currently describe Dan as a "mule."
I've always assumed he was a horse - probably because so many horses were named "Dan" -- but do we really know what sort of animal Nolan conceived him to be?




Cptsnapper,
Apparently Joni Mitchell (and maybe others who covered this song) rewrote some of the lyrics.   I wonder if those alternative lyrics you remember were the work of Joni or another artist who modified Nolan's original ones.



FWIW, here is a partial list of recordings of "Cool Water:

Dude Martin - 1936
The Sons Of The Pioneers - 1941
Bob Nolan & The Sons of the Pioneers (feat. in the film "Along The Navajo Trail") - 1945
Jimmy Wakely & The Riders Of The Purple Sage (featured in the film "Saddle Serenade") - 1945
Bob Nolan & The Sons of the Pioneers (featured in the film "Ding Dong Williams") - 1946
Wesley Tuttle - 1947
Vaughan Monroe & The Sons Of The Pioneers - 1948
Nellie Lutcher - 1948
Jimmy Wakely (feat. in the film "Brand Of Fear") - 1949
Gene Autry - 1950
Billy May & His Orch. (vocal: Bob Morse) - 1953
Polly Bergen - 1958
Kate Smith - 1958
George Melachrino & His Orch. (Instr.) - 1958
Johnnie Ray - 1959
Marty Robbins - 1959
Jack Scott - 1960
The Browns - 1960
Frankie Laine - 1961
Eddy Arnold - 1961
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - 1962
Lorne Greene - 1962
Tex Ritter with Stan Kenton & His Orch. - 1962
Odetta - 1963
Slim Whitman - 1963
Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles - 1963
Hank Snow - 1965
Tom Jones - 1967
Moe Bandy - 1982
Riders In The Sky - 1989
Michael Martin Murphy - 1995

Also recorded by:
Roy Rogers
Johnny Bond
Walter Brennan
Bill Black's Combo
Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Eddie Dean
Fleetwood Mac
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Frank Ifield
Burl Ives
Sleepy LaBeef
Norman Luboff Choir
Jack MarshallR
Rex Allen
Mills Brothers
Rooftop Singers
Cliffie Stone
Hank Williams
Kate Smith
Mason Williams
Boston Pops Orch.

I think Tex Ritter's recording is the one that stands out in my mind (in addition to the Sons Of The Pioneers).


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM

"Cool Water," Bob Nolan, was recorded August 8, 1945, on DSVB1110 (Victor 20-1724).
It does include the verse with "Dan'd feet are sore,..."
The film may have left out the verse (too long ago to recall).

Personnel of Sons of the Pioneer-
Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer, Ken Carson(v), Hugh Farr(v, vin), R. McCall(vin), C. Roberts(sg), Perry Botkin(g, ldr), Karl Farr(g), Shug Fisher, G. Braunsdorf (b).

Cool Water-
Bob Nolan(v), Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers)(v, g), Lloyd Perryman(v, b), Hugh Farr(vin), Karl Farr(g).
ldr-leader; b- bass, d- drums, g- guitar, v- vocal, vin- violin, sg- steel guitar.


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM

This (1945) is a later recording. Sorry, Genie. I don't have the 1941 recording.
BMI Work # 243956
Written in 1936. As Genie says, the Dude Martin recording omitted the last verse; I don't know when it first appeared in a recording or film.

"The Mysterious Avenger" of 1936 featured the Sons of the Pioneers, including both Bob Nolan and Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers), but I don't know the songs in that film.


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Subject: RE: Origins/Add Verses: Cool Water (Bob Nolan)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 04:05 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UiSMyyj-Ac


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