The Ballad of New Orleans

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This is from 2005, when Hurricane Katrina performed her Disaster Dance on New Orleans and surrounding areas. It may be sung to the melody of "Cool Water" (Bob Nolan, 1941)


All day I float my rubber boat upon a lake of water, flood water.

With hopes held high that I’ll espy a place that’s dry of water, deep flood water.


The warnings were ignored and then the rain poured

and then the flood roared and filled the Ninth Ward with water.

Man, can you see that broken levee

where the water’s runnin’ free and comin’ to get you and me.


With gentle shove I toss a dove to fly above the water, flood water.

On high she’ll soar, go looking for a place with no more water, deep flood water.

Repeat Chorus

The hurricane brought tons of rain and left folks slain by water, flood water.

We saw folks drown and float face down upon the stinking water, deep flood water.

Repeat Chorus

With one great stroke the levee broke and let in all that water, flood water.

The wind did blow, the danger grow, and streets all flow with water, deep flood water.

Repeat Chorus

We sweat and strain and take great pain and hope to drain the water, flood water.

With electric pump suck up and dump into the sump that water, deep flood water.

Repeat Chorus

Before we rest we’ll do our best to pass the test of water, flood water.

Then like the Dutch we’ll invest much and dike off such deep water, deep flood water.

Deep flood water.


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