A song by the Dave Matthews Band, it's on the album Before These Crowded Streets.

You may have caught the vh1 storytellers that Dave Matthews did not that long ago, though, I'm not sure precisely when. I thought that his explanation for don't drink the water was node-worthy, so I transcribed it to the best of my ability.

"I have to talk about Don't Drink the Water cause this is a storytellers, welcome to it. I'm not really good at explaining my songs, cause uh, I just work here. But I guess the inspiration for a.. well let me.. there's times, there are times when I've travelled around this fine country, and others, but this fine country.. I remember one time standing on the edge of lake superior, up where we we were camping on the northern side of it, and looking out and imagining on these little rocks that jut out, families of people going past in canoes, you know, and hunting on the side of the lake there. Also, like if you sit and look at the grand canyon and get a little distance between you and the mcdonald's thats peering down over the canyon with you.. just imagine the quiet that must have been there and the people that enjoyed it before.. before we came. And I just got awed by it, got this sort of overwhelming feeling looking at those things, just going 'man, does that suck.. does it suck that we could erase somebody, you know, take somebody's whole universe away. Just unbelievable for those people. If 800 years ago you could have gone up to somebody that lived on the edge of the grand canyon and said, 'You know what? In 800 years you're not going to be around anymore, and if you are, you might have a drinking problem and you won't have schools that you love and your traditions will be smashed' so kind of that was a little bit of the inspiration for don't drink the water, just the fact that a little bit of our history has got a lot of poison in it. Maybe we can't reverse things but if nothing else we could pay a little tribute to it once in a while by thinking about it.
What about New York? What about the people that lived in New York? 'You know what this is gonna look like? See those trees? See those rivers?? *insert chuckling*' I love this city, but I couldn't imagine the people.. there are ghosts wandering around going 'what happened?? What happened?? What's going on?'"
A play written by Woody Allen. I really enjoyed this play, we did it in my high school theater class a long time ago. It involves a family who is on vacation in Russia in the 1960's (it could have happened...). The father takes a picture of a sunset which happens to contain a sensitive area in the background. They are seen as spies and must flee to the American Embassy for refuge. Unforunately, the American Embassador is away and his inept son is left in charge. Most of the play takes place in the Embassy. It's pretty funny and an interesting look at the Russian-American tensions of the time.

A movie was made of it in the late 1960's starring Jackie Gleason, and it wasn't too good. In 1994, a made for TV version was released starring Woody himself as the father and Michael J. Fox as the Ambassador's son. This version was directed by Allen and was quite good, so if you want to see it, this is probably your best bet.

I've never cried because of a song, but I guess there is a firs time for everything. Admitedly, I'm not a big DMB fan, but I had the tune of this piece in my head. So I went out and bought it. I listened to this track, but I wasn't too sure of the lyrics -- so I came over here to read through them

I was enlightened.

I was ashamed.

Granted, it was none of my doing, what happened here those many centuries ago, but still... I feel partially responsible. For destroying the cultures and lives of so many. For hurting people 'just because we could'. And yet, our (the eurpoeans among us) ancestors did this as a matter of course. You can justify this in the name of "Divine Providence" or "Destiny", but that doesn't change the fact that world is a worse place.. an injured soul, because of what our forebearers did here.

And I'm pained even more to think that I probably won't do anything about it. I'll go to sleep tonight in a house built on land that was once sacred to a people, in my home of dead trees and ruptured earth, and in the morning, I will not care anymore. I will forget.

That pains me the most. That is why I cry.

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