Cooler Water, Higher Ground


Written by John Stewart


‘Cooler Water, Higher Ground’ is from the “Teresa and the Lost Songs” CD, Homecoming, 1998; there´s a live version on “A Night at Jimmy Duke´s – Johnny and the Nasty Britches”, Neon Dreams, 2002. 

Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm...What a great melody.  Mm. mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm… 

Hope you have found Cooler Water, Higher Ground.  (Author strolls away, humming…)



Capo 2nd fret


(C) (F) (G)  (C) (F) (G) 

(C) (F) (G)  (C) (F) (G) 


Oh (C)Lord, will you (F)send me a (G)morning?

'Cause I (C)need a little (F)sun on my (G)wall.

(C)Often at (Em7/B)night when the (Am7)sun's going (Am7/G)down

(F)I feel like giving (Dm7)up on it (G)all.

Ah, but (C)rolling in the (F)arms of my (G)darling,

(C) Cooling her (F)head with my (G)hand, *

Oh, a (C)song comes to (Em7/B)me when I'm (Am7)dreaming (Am7/G)

Like it's (F)moving all (Dm7)over the (G)land.


It goes, (C)Mm mm mm(Em7/B)mm mm mm (Am7)mm, (Am7/G)

(F)Here in my (G)heart I have (C)found, (G, more a note than a chord)

(C)Mm mm mm(Em7/B)mm mm mm (Am7)mm, (C7)

(F) Cooler (C)water, (G) higher (C)ground

(F) Cooler (C)water, (F) hi(G)gher (C)ground.

(F) (G)  (C) (F) (G)  (C) (Em/B) (A) (A7)


I was (D)born in the (Em7)heat of Sep(A7)tember,

(D)Died in the (G)cool of the (A)fall.

Oh, (D)bornin' and (F#m/C#)dieing, we (Bm)do all the (Bm/A)time,

(G)Don't mean much of (Em7)nothing at (A)all.

Now there's (D)no one looking (Em)over my (A)shoulder,

(D)No one's putting (G)nothing on (A)me.

You know, (D)sometimes I (F#m/C#)even be(Bm)lieve it, (Bm/A)

And I (G)know how it (Em7)feels to be (A)free. (A/G) (A/F#) (A/E)


It's like, (D)Mm mm mm (F#m/C#)mm mm mm (Bm)mm, (Bm/A)

For (G)here in my (A)heart I have (D)found (A7)

(D)Mm mm mm(F#m/C#)mm mm mm (Bm)mm, (Bm/A)

(G) Cooler (D)water, (A)higher (D)ground,

(G) Cooler (D)water, (Em)hi(A)gher (D)ground. (G) (A7)


And there are (D)hymns in the (F#m/C#)whims of the (Bm)lonely, (Bm/A)

And (G)here in my (A)heart I have (D)found (A7)

(D)Hymns in the (F#m/C#)whims of the (Bm)lonely, (Bm/A)

It's (G) cooler (D)water, (A)higher (D)ground,

(G) Cooler (D)water, (Em)hi(A)gher (D)ground.

(G) (A)  (D) (G) (A)   (D)


© John Stewart, All Rights Reserved


Art Faller, & Charlie Woodward


On “Jimmy Dukes” version - "cooling my head with her hand"


April 2004