Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Episode 557 (12-28-20): A Year of Water Sounds and Music – 2020 Edition

Click to listen to episode (5:35)

Sections below are the following:

Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 12-24-20.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 28, 2020.

MUSIC – ~13 sec – instrumental

That’s part of “Waiting on the Dawn,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, from their 2007 album, “A Certain Tree.”  This week, as we wait for the dawn of a new year, we look back on Virginia Water Radio’s past year.  We start with a medley of mystery sounds from six episodes in 2020.  Have a listen for about 45 seconds, and see if you can identify what you hear.

SOUNDS  - ~46 sec 

If you guessed all or most of those, you’re a 2020 water-sound wizard!

You heard

Wood Frogs;
a Saltmarsh Sparrow;
names of some 2020 Atlantic tropical cyclones;
Atlantic White-sided Dolphins;
a Black-necked Stilt;
and a North Atlantic Right Whale.

Thanks to Lang Elliott for the Saltmarsh Sparrow and Black-necked Stilt sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs; to Blacksburg friends for the tropical cyclone names; and to NOAA Fisheries for the dolphin and whale sounds.

I hope that, during this difficult pandemic year, you had safe, adequate water and a chance to hear some restorative water sounds.

We close out 2020 with a 90-second sample of six songs heard on Water Radio this year.  Here are excerpts of “Chesapeake Bay Ballad” by Torrin Hallett; “Turtles Don’t Need No 401-K” by Bob Gramann; “River Runs Dry” by Kat Mills; “Nelson County” by Chamomile and Whiskey; “Love Rain Down” by Carbon Leaf; and “Kartune” by No Strings Attached.  Thanks to those musicians and to Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand for permission to use their music.

To 2020: so long, soon; and here’s to a safe and healthy 2021.

MUSIC - ~99 sec

From “Chesapeake Bay Ballad” – ~15 sec – instrumental

From “Turtles Don’t Need No 401-K” – ~12 sec – lyrics: “Turtles don’t need no 401-K; they sit on the rock in the sun all day.  Turtles don’t need no 401-K; it’s stuck in my head and it won’t go away.

From “River Runs Dry” – ~13 sec – lyrics: “What you gonna do when the river runs dry, when there’s no more water in your well?”

From “Nelson County” – ~21 sec – lyrics: “Oh Virginia, little darling, I call your mountains home.  Nelson County, where I’ll never be alone, no, no, no, I’ll never be alone.”

From “Love Rain Down” – ~24 sec – lyrics: “Well I can’t say that I was every ready, but I can sure say it was time, that I let love rain down, yeah I let love rain down.”

From “Kartune” – ~14 sec – instrumental


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Sounds Used

The sound of Wood Frogs were recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., on February 18, 2018.  The sound was used in Episode 509, 1-27-20.

The Saltmarsh Sparrow sound and the Black-necked Stilt sound were from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott.  Lang Elliot’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.  The sparrow sound was used in Episode 511, 2-10-20; the stilt sound was used in Episode 543, 9-21-20.

The call-out of the Atlantic tropical cyclone names for the 2020 season were recorded by 11 Blacksburg friends of Virginia Water radio on May 21-22, 2020.  These voices were used in Episode 526, 5-25-20.

The Atlantic White-sided Dolphins sound and the North Atlantic Right Whale sound were from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, “Sounds in the Ocean,” online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/science-data/sounds-ocean.  The dolphin sounds were used in Episode 542, 9-14-20; the whale sound was used in Episode 551, 11-16-20.

Music Used

“Chesapeake Bay Ballad” is copyright 2020 by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  Torrin is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, and a 2020 graduate in Horn Performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York.  As of 2020-21, he is a performance certificate candidate at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.  More information about Torrin is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  Thanks to Torrin for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.  This music was used in Episode 537, 8-10-20. 

Turtles Don’t Need No 401-K,” from the 1995 album “Mostly True Songs,” is copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission.  More information about Bob Gramann is available online at http://www.bobgramann.com/.  This music was used in Episode 513, 2-24-20.

“River Runs Dry,” by Kat Mills, is from the 2003 album “Long Time,” from Sweetcut Music; used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at http://www.sweetcut.com/kat/ and at https://www.facebook.com/katmillsmusic.  This music was used in Episode 541, 9-7-20.

“Nelson County,” from the 2017 album “Sweet Afton,” is copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and County Wide Music used with permission.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at https://www.chamomileandwhiskey.com/.  More information about County Wide Music is available online at https://countywidemusic.worldsecuresystems.com/.  This music was used in Episode 550, 11-9-20.

“Love Rain Down,” from the 2013 album “Constellation Prize,” is copyright by Carbon Leaf, used with permission.  More information about Carbon Leaf is available online at https://www.carbonleaf.com/.  This music was used in Episode 547, 10-19-20.

“Kartune,” from the 1992 album “Blue Roses,” is copyright by No Strings Attached and Enessay Music, used with permission.  More information about the now-retired group No Strings Attached is available online at https://www.enessay.com/index.html.  This music was used in Episode 555, 12-14-20.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES – A Photo Sampler from Episodes in 2020 

From Episode 509, 1-27-20: Wood Frog (date not available).  Photo by Elizabeth Shadle, Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences, used with permission.

From Episode 513, 2-24-20: Snapping Turtle at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, September 2017.  Photo by Chelsi Burns, made available by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov); specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/27223/rec/3, as of 12/29/20.

From Episode 543, 9-21-20: Black-necked Stilt photographed at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, February 28, 2009.  Photo by Steve Hillebrand, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov; specific URL for this image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/15361/rec/4, as of 12-29-20.

From Episode 550, 11-9-20: A summer float on the Rockfish River in Nelson County, Va. (date not available).  Photo by Michael LaChance, used with permission.

From in Episode 542, 9-14-20: Bottlenose Dolphins, photographed near Virginia Beach, Va., August 9, 2020.  Photo by Ty Smith, made available on iNaturalist at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56137254 (as of 12-29-20) for use under Creative Commons license “Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0.”  Information about this Creative Commons license is available online at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.


Please see the episodes mentioned and hyperlinked above under “Audio Notes and Acknowledgments” for sources of information about the topics of the episodes.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” subject category.

Following are links to previous “year of sounds/music” episodes.

2019 – Episode 504, 12-23-19
2018 – Episode 452, 12-24-18
2017 – Episode 400, 12-25-17
2016 – Episode 348, 12-26-16
2015 – Episode 295, 12-21-15
2014 – Episode 246, 12-29-14
2013 – Episode 193, 12-23-13
2012 – Episode 141, 12-17-12


The episodes listed and hyperlinked above under “Audio Notes and Acknowledgments” may help with various Virginia SOLs in English, Music, Science, and Social Studies.  For specific SOLs, please see the online show notes for each episode.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.