Talking Water Blues

(for Duncan Glen)
 
Well Eh went tae jaabox thi ithir dey,
Eh turnd oan ma tap an Eh heard ut sey:
‘Eh ain’t no waatir an Eh ain’t no wine
Eh’m-a ZED TWO OH and Eh’m-a feelin fine!’
Well Eh powrd me a gless o this chatty bree
and ut sclimmd owre thi rim and ut sedd tae me:
‘Yi’d better no scell me oan yir flair,
yi’ll hae talkin lino and a talkin chair!’
 
            Eh’ve gote thi talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            ut disnae quench yir thirst
            but ye sure catch up wi thi news
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            ut disna taste that guid tae drink
            but man, whit a liquid tae think,
            talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues.
 
Well Eh tuke wan sip an Eh stertit tae jaa
an since that dey Eh’ve nivir stoapped ataa,
ut’s-a ZED TWO OH frae thi Planet Zog
whaur evrythin talks, man, tree and doag.
Well wance you let this stuff in yir mooth,
ye waant tae tell a leh but ut comes oot this truth,
yeah, ut lukes sae douce as ut sits i thi gless
but whan ut hits yir heid ye jist huvtae confess
 
            Eh’ve gote thi talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            ut disnae quench yir thirst
            but ye sure catch up wi thi news
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            ut disnae help yi floorirs tae grow
            but you shid hear thae daffies goi man go,
            talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues.
 
Well Eh medd a pote a tea fur meh auld gran
an she spleutirt oot ‘Wha greed this til a MAN?’
and Eh powrd an eggcup i thi River Tay
and ut skraiked that lood thi Noarth Sea backed away.
Well Eh set up shoap sellin ZED TWO OH
but that talkin waatir hud wan no-no:
‘Yi can sell me by thi boattul yi can sell me by thi can,
but yi canna sell me til an Englishman!’
 
            Eh’ve gote thi talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            ut disnae quench yir thirst
            but ye sure catch up wi thi news
                        (oobie-doo-wa, ba-oobie-doo-wa)
            Eh’ve gote thi talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues
            talkin waatir, talkin waatir blues
                        (an that’s news).

from Forked Tongue (Bloodaxe, 1994), © W N Herbert 1994, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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