Jacob Baum (Water Witch)

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

A lyric in Robert Hunter's "Box Of Rain," that seems never to have been performed live.

I dug in that spot before, I didn't find no water
Tell me, how do you do it, where did you get that power?
I got it from my father, who was a seventh son
Don't really need no willow wand, though I guess it helps me some

Water witch, come now
Bend your willow and see
Is there water in my land?
Cool, sweet water for me?
Find that water now, cold clear water
Come, cool water--Oh come, sweet water
Please bend your willow and see

Jacob Baum came to Nehi Valley nineteen forty nine
All the wells were long gone dry--heaven presented no sign
Jacob could sniff a hidden spring like a hound can track a scent
Water never failed to show wherever his willow bent

Preacher Will got it in his head that Jacob was the devil
Said no one could do this thing and still be on the level
During the controversy Jacob dowsed the chapel ground
Found a mother wellspring there, enough to go around

It so happened that Preacher Will, he owned that plot of land
Got it on a deed of trust from someone lately damned
You should have seen the colors change--his true concern turned 'round
To how much he could profit from the water inside his ground


Everyone saw through his scam from profit to disaster
Nonetheless, our hands were tied, our need made him the master
Till Jacob shook his willow wand in anger at the sky
And rain fell down for seven days till not one well was dry

Preacher Will snuck out of town the day the sun returned
We took up a collection to pay Jacob what he'd earned
He said I can't accept your pay or my power will be lost
Thank you for your faith in me--that's all it's gonna cost


Come cold water--come, cool, sweet water
Jacob, bend your willow and see
Witch that water, now, cold clear water
Cool, sweet water for me ...


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