Dirty Water

from by Peggy van Zalm

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about

During our two week writing stint in Amsterdam, Phil Kakulas went out for a walk one day and returned with these lyrics asking if I would like to put some music to them...Amazingly, after reading them I picked up the guitar and almost immediately came up with the feel and the chords .. Blackeyed Susans have also done a version of this song and it appears on a Dutch compilation album compiled by Ger Schaefer entitled "The Water Suite"

lyrics

Dirty Water ©music Peggy van Zalm©wds Philip Kakulas

I was born inside a tiny room
I couldn't breathe no I could not move
my mother cried and pinned me to her breast
The nurses they all gathered round and one of them he held me down
and washed me in that brown and murky water

My folks I guess they knew the Lord ten foot tall and twice as broad
living in a house of solid gold
My father took me by the hand and introduced me to the man
who Christened me in dark and dirty water

In the oceans in the air dirty water everywhere
Dirty water filling up my cup
'cross the sea and 'cross the land
every woman and every man has come to wash their hands in dirty water

I caught a fever from the well
Eventually I couldn't tell the difference between the right and wrong
and when I asked you for advice
you turned to me and whispered ice
and cooled me with that cold and murky water

In the oceans in the air dirty water everywhere
Dirty water filling up my cup
'cross the sea and 'cross the land
every woman and every man has come to wash their hands in dirty water

I withered as they searched for cures
for something old for something pure
virtues that I never could express
Then finally they called the priest
who laid me out to rest in peace
annointed with that dark and dirty water

In the bedrooms in the towers
in the corridors of power
dirty water filling up my cup
served in crystal served in glass
in the palaces and the bars
we all know the taste of dirty water

of dirty water, dirty water, dirty water
dirty water, dirty water
dirty water, dirty water

credits

from Soul Magic, released October 27, 2016

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Peggy van Zalm Australia

Former lead singer of the late ’80s Perth outfit Martha’s Vineyard, Peggy’s solo career has yielded five albums of thoughtful and meditative folk. With a voice that suggests the tenderness of Joni Mitchell or the sly finesse of Chrissy Hynde, Van Zalm’s work is always rich in wisdom and heart. ... more

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