Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Cool Water, song lyrics

Song: Cool Water
Lyrics: Bob Nolan(1)

Music: Bob Nolan
Year: Poem 1924, Music 1936
Genre: Country and Western
Origin: Canada & USA

All day I’ve faced a barren waste,
Without the taste of water, cool water.
Old Dan(2) and I with throats burnt dry,
And souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear water.
This song was originally posted on
Keep a-movin’, 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.
This song was originally posted on

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.


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.



1 - Bob Nolan (1908 - 1980) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, April 13, 1908, as Clarence Robert Nobles. In 1929 he moved to California. With Roy Rogers and Tim Spencer, he formed The Sons of the Pioneers a famous country and western singing group in the 1930's until it broke up in 1949.

2 - Dan is usually assumed to be the subject's horse, but the term "Old Dan" usually refers to a trustworthy mule in traditional cowboy colloquialism.

3 - While he wrote cowboy songs including subjects like the desert, this song became popular during the droughts of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression era. He wrote this poem as a teenager after he had moved with his divorced father to Tuscon Arizon, and he put it to song twelve years later.