Cool Water

Cool Water

"Cool Water" is a song written in 1936 by Bob Nolan. It is about a man and his mule, Dan, and a mirage in the desert.


Original version

The best-selling recorded version was done by Vaughn Monroe and The Sons of the Pioneers in 1948. The recording was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-2923. The record was on the Billboard magazine chart for 13 weeks beginning on August 6, 1948, peaking at #9. [1]

Other artists

Hank Williams recorded the song in 1948 or 1949 for the Johnny Fair Syrup Company radio show on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. The recording is available on The Complete Hank Williams boxed set, released on Mercury Records in 1998. It also appears in the film Rango, set in an Old West town populated by animals that is suffering from drought. Every Wednesday, the townspeople perform a ritual they believe will return water to their town, during which the song plays over a PA system.

Frankie Laine and The Mellomen took it to #2 on the British charts in 1955.

Marty Robbins recorded the song on his 1959 album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.

Burl Ives recorded this song on his 1961 album Songs of the West.

Odetta recorded the song in 1963 on her One Grain of Sand album.

The Shadows recorded this in 1965 for a television show; later released on the Italian compilation album Dakota.

Fleetwood Mac also covered this song in 1982; it was the B-side to the single "Gypsy".

Other covers of the song were done by Riders in the Sky, Jack Scott, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Slim Whitman, among others.

The Muppets (Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers) also covered the song on the set for "Singin' in the Rain" in Episode 501 after Gene Kelly refuses to go on.

The Gaither Vocal Band covered this song as well. [1]

Joni Mitchell recorded "Cool Water" (with revised lyrics), released on Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm, March 23, 1988.

Nellie Lutcher also covered this song.

Bob Dylan and The Band recorded "Cool Water" during the Basement Tapes sessions, but the cover is only available in bootleg form.

Leo Kottke performed a version on the album Burnt Lips.

The Replacements recorded this song around 1986; it is on a re-released version of Pleased to Meet Me.

Johnny Cash covered this on his second posthumous record American VI: Ain't No Grave [2]

Courtney Jaye and Peter Hayes - Cool Water's cover (2008)

Ramblin Jack Elliot recorded "cool water" on his album Country Style/Live


Frankie Laine version
Chart (1955) Peak
United Kingdom (NME) 2[3]
United Kingdom (Record Mirror) 1[4]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research. 
  2. ^ Cool Water Songfacts
  3. ^ "Artist Chart History Details: Frankie Laine". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  4. ^ McAleer, Dave. "Every No.1 in the 1960s is listed from all the nine different magazine charts!". Dave McAleer's website. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 

External links

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