Water Off The Back Of A Duck

In Bluegrass music there are many songs where the only instruments played are guitar and mandolin. Many times this was heard in gospel tunes. I totally enjoy hearing a full band including fiddle, banjo, bass and dobro, but once in a while I like to sort of get back to basics with it.  This is most enjoyable when you have a good friend who just happens to be a master of mandolin! Van Atwell is a modest man who might shy from the description of being a “master”, but I have been playing this kind of music for over 50 years, and can tell you, I have seldom heard anyone play with this kind of smooth, artistic touch!  We wrote this fun song together a few years back…. well Van wrote it, I just added the last verse. We were jammin’ this song at the Father’s Day Festival in Grass Valley when our good friend John Senior showed up wearing boxer shorts with those phony plastic butt cheeks. John calls the song “Water Up The Crack Of Your Butt!” Very funny John. Now if you think we are going through hard times in this country these days, just listen to the story of this poor Ol’ boy!

Water Off The Back Of A Duck © 2004 Atwell/Ireton

Well I’ll admit I cried when she left me
My old pickup truck had just broke down
I lost my job I’d had for twenty years
My house had burned to the ground
But don’t think I’m sittin’ here cryin’ hard times
I’m still alive and doing fine
Don’t pity me cuz’ I’m down on my luck
It’s water off the back of a duck

I’m still alive and I will survive
It’s water off the back of a duck

Well the police came calling Monday morning
They said I’d overdrawn my account
I needed twenty thousand but I only took ten
I didn’t think they’d miss that amount
Now the boll weevil ate all my cotton
And the blight took away all my grain
My rooster won’t crow and my chickens won’t cluck
But it’s water off the back of a duck

My fields are flooded over and I’m stuck in the muck
But it’s water off the back of a duck

Now I’m just like old Job in the bible
Trouble seems to roll right over me
I’m praying for the day when life will turn my way
It’s bound to get better, wait and see
Now my stomach’s shaking hands with my backbone
I’m so hungry I might even eat a skunk (Whew!)
I may be down but I’ll never give up
It’s just water off the back of a duck

I don’t worry what to do cuz’ I’m just passing through
It’s water off the back of a duck!

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