Sunday, April 10, 2005

Troubled Waters

Water is a body that is less stable than earth. Water cleanses, baptizes and envelopes, but water can be polluted. The fish in the great lakes of Ontario have up to seven times the normal size of thyroid gland because they have mutated as the result of high exposure to methylmercury, which is a result of burning fossil fuels and acid rain. Canada has lots of fresh water, more than many countries in the world. It has been said that the next world war will be over water. We put fluoride in our water here because dental associations have told us this will be good for our teeth. Some people think we are crazy to drink it. Water is my horoscope. Walkerton had bad water because the purification site was monitored by people who falsified reports and didn't have chlorinators that were functional. A friend of mine lived there and got about $4000 in compensation. They got in deep trouble. In countries like Africa that have water shortages, women and children can spend the greater part of their day hauling it for miles. Part of a UN campaign, waterforlife that was launched on March 22 was to set and meet new standards in using water efficiently and sanitizing it for use.

Thinking about Israel and the Jordan river, I was reminded of a song that I would sing when I went to camp at Silver Lake. It is a song about the Israelites, chased by an angry Pharoah and many chariots, and the crossing of Red Sea when it was parted by Him. They walked on dry ground. This is followed by the song of Moses(Exodus 14-15). When the army pursued them, God told Moses to put out his hand, and he troubled the water and the sea closed back up on the Egyptians. "Not so much as one of them remained." (Exodus 14:28) This song was also sung (and created?) by American slaves in relation to them escaping across the Mississippi if I remember correctly. Afro-American music tends to be very soulful and moving. I like this song because it's powerfully minor and actually sounds like trouble. I had forgotten most of the words, but Joseph was resourceful and kind enough to provide me with them:

Hymn: Wade in the Water

Chorus (all): Wade in the water, wade in the water children.
Wade in the water. God's gonna trouble the water.

(Soloist) Who are those children all dressed in Red?
God's gonna trouble the water.
Must be the ones that Moses led.
God's gonna trouble the water.

Chorus (all)

(Soloist) Who are those children all dressed in White?
God's gonna trouble the water.
Must be the ones of the Israelites.
God's gonna trouble the water.

Chorus (all)

(Soloist) Who are those children all dressed in Blue?
God's gonna trouble the water.
Must be the ones that made it through.
God's gonna trouble the water.

Filed under Environment


Blogger tripwalking said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:39 p.m.  
Blogger tripwalking said...

I thought it was flouride that we have in our water... :)

10:40 p.m.  
Blogger paulmonster said...

There's a profound tradition of exodus spirituals to wade through, as it were.

My favorite, with the following lyrics:

Moses, Moses, don't get lost
In that Red Sea
Strike your rod and come across
In that Red Sea

Oh, talking 'bout the Pharaoh who got lost
Got Lost, Got Lost,
Talking 'bout the Pharaoh who got lost,
In That Red Sea.

Alan Lomax recorded an amazing rendition, by four voices, with truly astonishing hand rhythms and harmonies that take those eight simple lines all over the place. Rhythms that convey the excitement and the fury of inundation, of flight from danger, of calamity. (All of which have so many connotations, now.) Pity that sound clips cannot be posted on blogger blogs. Yet.

1:27 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

I knew I could count on the paulmonster for theatrical songs to cheer the heart and throw some calamity in too. What I'm wading through is up past my waist now. I'll look for that song, and hopefully do more than just talk 'bout that Pharoah that got lost -I'll sing about him!

6:39 p.m.  
Blogger J said...

I used to love that song.

4:56 a.m.  

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