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Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Wakulla Springs Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

River of the Crying Bird CD Lyrics

  • Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • Monday, September 12, 2022
  • Wakulla Springs State Park



1. WAKULLA SPRINGS

(lyrics: Collin Johnson) 2:30

I wanna tell you about a place

Wakulla Springs!

We’ve got Suwannee Cooters sittin’ on logs

Alligators in the swamp

Anhingas spreading their wings

Listen to the moorhen and pied-billed grebe

CHORUS

Here in Wakulla Springs!

It’s so pretty, it’ll make you sing

Here in Wakulla Springs

Ridin’ down the river feels just like a dream

It’s the world’s biggest spring

120 ft deep it’s amazing

We’ve got manatees big and round

Look at that osprey flyin’ around!

CHORUS

Watch out for the Creature From The Black Lagoon!

Back in the jungle Tarzan wailing like a loon!

Step into the Lodge from 1937

You might feel like you walked into heaven!

CHORUS


2. ALLIGATOR DRAG

(lyrics: Collin Johnson, Phil Pouliot, Scott Roylance, Ethan Whaley) 3:02

I drag my belly across the vegetation

I’m looking for a little visitation

It’s been awhile since I ate

My little reptile brain starts to contemplate

CHORUS

So come on down to my alligator drag

If you feel like your day’s getting bad

Things will become clear after awhile

Just look at my toothy alligator smile

We’ve got fried swamp chicken and buzzard BBQ

Possum on the half shell and Cooter stew

Fresh spring water, crisp and cool

This river’s full of fish from many schools

CHORUS

If you come from a place that posts a different flag

You better know how to spot an alligator drag

Bennie Chapman was a brown pelican

He flew up river because he lost his friends

He landed on a path along Wakulla River

Ended up in the belly of an alligator

CHORUS


3. WE EAT THE DEAD THINGS

(lyrics: Kat Wilson, Collin Johnson, Maria Wilhelmy) 2:50

I’m a vulture, flying high in the sky

The wind carries, my kettle high

We glide in circles, scanning the ground

On the highways, is where it can be found

WE EAT THE DEAD THINGS

My face is red, my feathers are brown

We build our nests, on the ground

From Canada to Chile we ride

My wingspan is 6ft wide

I’m a turkey vulture

Vultures are nature’s cleanup crew

We do the things people wouldn’t do

WE EAT THE DEAD THINGS

I’m a black vulture, my wingtips are white

I bully my kin, I have keen eyesight

I hiss at the ladies, as I walk on by

I’ve got bad table manners, but I’m such a cool guy

I’m a vulture

Vultures are nature’s cleanup crew

We do the things people wouldn’t do

WE EAT THE DEAD THINGS


4. WITHOUT HANDS

(lyrics: Kat Wilson, Collin Johnson) 3:19

I spent the morning laying under a tree

Camouflaged beneath the leaves

I shake the rattles in my tail

For some squirrel the day will be hell

SNAKES

High in the branches, I slither around

Legs would only slow me down

In my coils I squeeze my prey

I’ll find a tasty frog today

SNAKES

The rats and mice are out of hand!

Snakes do all that they can

WITHOUT HANDS, WITHOUT HANDS

The sun is getting high in the sky

I need a nice warm place to lie

Because in the water I’ll find my meal

My strike is fast, you may not heal

SNAKES

Some lay eggs or give live birth

Live in the water, or on the dirt

From every corner, every color and size

For pest control is all that they strive

SNAKES

Lizards and frogs are out of hand

Snakes do all that they can

WITHOUT HANDS, WITHOUT HANDS

OR FEET, BECAUSE THEY’RE SNAKES!


5. MANATEES

(lyrics: Maria Wilhelmy, Collin Johnson, Kat Wilson) 2:37

From the Gulf of Mexico to Apalachicola

From the Port of St. Joe to Pensacola

They’re moving!

Some people call them sea cows

Some people call them mermaids

But I’m here to tell y’all that they’re

MANATEES!

They happen to be mammals just like you and me

But they live in the water, they live under the sea

Oh they’re swimming!

From the Suwannee River to Homosassa

From Lake Okeechobee, from Tampa and Miami

Oh they’re moving!

In the summer, they’re cruising the coast

But in the winter, they move in close

They’re aggregating!

They’re ten feet long, 1200 hundred pounds

Gray like an elephant they don’t make a sound

They’re MANATEES!


6. MASTODON

(lyrics: Collin Johnson) 3:12

MASTODON, was ten feet tall

MASTODON, weighed eleven tons

MASTODON, with a powerful jaw

Chewed on conifers twenty feet tall

CHORUS

MASTODON! It’s not a mammoth

MASTODON! They had a smaller head and legs

MASTODON! Chased by Indians

MASTODON! Sometimes right off a cliff

MASTODON, Mammut Americus

MASTODON, no longer among us

MASTODON, like an Asian elephant

Indians followed their scent

CHORUS

For thousands of years they roamed this continent

Grazing on trees, minding their business

But Indians overhunted them to extinction

CHORUS


7. A LITTLE QUIRKY

(lyrics: Collin Johnson) 4:00

I want to tell you about

What I’ve been doing throughout the day

I’ve been hanging out

Four feet up in a willow tree

I’ve been watching the fish

Like the mullet, the pickerel beneath me

I’m gonna dive

Swim with my special feathers and webbed feet

CHORUS

Anhinga! I’m an Anhinga!

I’m a snakebird, a devil bird, and some people call me a water turkey

Anhinga! I’m an Anhinga!

I’m a snakebird, a devil bird, and some people call me a little quirky

I’ve picked my branch

I’ve been fishing from here for quite some years

I’m gonna sink low

Way down deep in the H20

I’m gonna stab a mullet

With my spear like bill and throw it my gullet

CHORUS

In the spring, I put on my blueliner

I’ll attract a mate, so I can spread my genetic line

Because I love Wakulla River

So much I want to live here forever

CHORUS


8. FLOATING ON A BOAT DOWNSTREAM

(lyrics and additional vocals: Kat Wilson; Harmonica: Phil Pouliot) 3:21

Rolling down the river

Floating on a boat downstream

The sun is high in the sky

Can you hear the osprey scream

The grass is growing up tall

Listen to the bullfrog call

Alligators on the riverside

A turtle swims right on by

The birds are nesting in the trees

The flowers call the honeybees

Blue heron thinks he’s mighty fine

Strutting on the shoreline

Do you see that big ole bass

Sliding through the eel grass

As the otters in the river play

On this beautiful sunny day

Over there’s a manatee

Bobbing along easily

An anhinga sits to dry

Stretching out its wings wide

The cypress in the water grows

It grows a little taller

As we roll on down the river

Floating on a boat downstream


9. THE WATER CYCLE

(lyrics and vocals: Kat Wilson) 2:47

The water filters through the earth

Two hundred feet beneath the dirt

It gathers, building, pushing, flowing up and outward through the cracks

It builds the rivers, lakes and sea

It makes up plants and you and me

Rises high into the sky

It forms the clouds above our head

The clouds will clash

The rain will fall

Whatever’s on the earth

Water washes through it all, it all

From this cycle we can’t hide

This is what we take inside

If it’s on the ground it ends up in our pipes and our homes

The water in the sea is a part of you and me

What we need to survive, clean water’s how we thrive

It’s what we drink and what we eat

So we can move to the beat

In the plants and the trees that make air we can breathe


10. THE CHIMNEY SWIFT

(lyrics: Collin Johnson, Jeff Hugo) 4:15

I’ve been traveling so long now it’s time to rest

I’ve been searching for a place to bed down and nest

Where the cool water flows and the trees touch the sky

There’s a tall chimney, deep and dark where I can lie

This is home now, for a little while

The sun is sinking, the air is heavy

Hundreds dancing, the chimney beckons

And we dance again, we whirl again and then descend

This is home now, for a little while

The starlight shimmers and the night caresses

We’re feathered specters on a mission

And we dance again, we whirl again and then descend


11. CRY OF THE LIMPKIN

(lyrics: Collin Johnson, Limpkin call: Jackie Turner) 2:31

Mysterious waters, river of the crying bird

I hear you calling, we hear you from around the world

CHORUS

On Wakulla River

We don’t even know where your story begins

On Wakulla River

The cry of the limpkin sounds like a long-lost friend

Alligators sunning

Mullet fish jumping

Manatees coming up for air

Look at the red-eyed stare of the night heron

CHORUS


12. THE BALLAD OF AN ANCIENT TREE

(lyrics: Collin Johnson) 4:53

I am three thousand years old

I have seen things that would blow your mind

I have survived centuries of storms

But I know the violence of man is nigh

I have watched you from three hundred feet

Good and evil, I have seen your deeds

You’ll bring me down because you think you wear the crown in this world

But we’re all in this together floating down this river that churns

We’re on the precipice, we’re on the edge

Staring down into the abyss

It’s time to change, but we ain’t changing

This is serious but we keep playing

You’ll bring me down because you think you wear the crown in this world

But we’re all in this together floating down this river that churns


All music written and arranged by Collin Johnson.

Collin Johnson(vocals, guitars, drums, bass, keyboard)

Album produced, mixed and mastered by Rick Ott in Sopchoppy, FL.

The support and enthusiasm of the Friends of Wakulla Springs was pivotal in the creation of this album.  Proceeds from the sale and streaming of this album will support the Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park, a 501(c)3 organization.  Your purchase will help support their mission and enhance the natural, historical, cultural and recreational resources of Wakulla Springs State Park for present and future generations.


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