Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Episode 674 (2-5-24): Closing Out 14 Years of Regular Virginia Water Radio Episodes

Click to listen to episode (9:16).

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 2-1-24.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the weeks of February 5 and February 12, 2024.

MUSIC – ~35 sec – lyrics: “We are on a ship, a great big ship.  It takes all of us to take of it.  And we can use the stars to navigate our trip.  We are riding on a ship.”

That’s the closing of “On a Ship,” by Blacksburg, Va., singer-songwriter Kat Mills.  Since January 2010, Virginia Water Radio has been bringing you sounds, music, and information about the watery nature of the good ship Earth, particularly the waters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  With the recent passage of Water Radio’s 14th anniversary, this will be the show’s last regularly scheduled episode.  Water Radio may return from time to time with special-project episodes; if so, I hope you’ll be able to have a listen.

To mark the transition away from regular episodes, I’ve invited several guests to call out the range of topics that Water Radio has aimed to explore.  Have a listen for about 45 seconds to their voices, interspersed with some favorite sounds, of birds, the spokesman for traditional fishing boat singers, children, a rolling river, and rumbling thunder.


VOICE 1 - Water in the biology of humans, birds, frogs, plants, and other living things.  SOUND 1 - Little Blue Heron fishing, plus sounds of Red-winged Blackbirds.      

VOICE 2 - Water-related history and cultural expression.  SOUND 2 – Spokesman for Northern Neck Chantey Singers saying, “We are the Northern Neck Chantey Singers.”

VOICE 3 - Water laws and policies, management and uses, and people.  SOUND 3 – Group of children and adults calling out “Take a kid to a park!”

VOICE - Groundwater, surface water, and watersheds.  SOUND 4 – South Fork Roanoke River in Montgomery County, Va.    

VOICE - Water science, water research, and weather.  SOUND 5 – Thunderstorm.

Along with its focus on water-related sounds, much of Water Radio’s vitality has come from music about water, with either the music or the musicians having a Virginia connection.  Several groups and individuals have graciously allowed frequent use of their songs.  Those include Kat Mills, whose song “On a Ship” you heard earlier; Ben Cosgrove and Stewart Scales, whose versions of “Shenandoah” and “Cripple Creek,” respectively, open and close alternating episodes; and the following artists, whom you’ll hear in an upcoming medley:

the late Madeline MacNeil, with “New Spring Waltz”;
Timothy Seaman, with “Bass Fisherman’s Reel”;
Torrin Hallett, with “Tropical Tantrum”;
Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, with “Samuel Mason.”
Chamomile and Whiskey, with “Dirty Sea”;
The Steel Wheels, with “Valley”;
No Strings Attached, with “Kartune”; and
Bob Gramann, with “Rappahannock Running Free.”

Have a listen for a little over three minutes.

MUSIC - ~3 min./15 sec.

“New Spring Waltz.” - ~ 23 sec – instrumental.

“Bass Fisherman’s Reel - ~20 sec – instrumental.

“Tropical Tantrum” - ~27 sec – instrumental.

“Samuel Mason” - ~24 sec – lyrics: “Samuel Mason, that is my name.  I left Fort Henry seeking fortune and fame.  I came from Virginia a long time ago, but now I am a pirate along the Ohio.”

“Dirty Sea” - ~18 sec – instrumental.

“Valley” - ~41 sec – lyrics: “These mountains have been here for centuries.  There’s stories in the water, something if you’re listening; what kind of stories do you wanna see?  ‘Cause I wanna go where the wind don’t blow; take me down to the valley.  I wanna go where the wind don’t blow; take me out tonight.”

“Kartune” - ~19 sec – instrumental.

“Rappahannock Running Free” - ~23 sec – lyrics: “I love the Rappahannock, and its water running free; in the rapids of this river, that’s where I want to be.   I love the Rappahannock, and its waters running free; in the rapids of this river, that’s where I’ll always be.”

Thanks to all the musicians, sounds sources, and collaborators who contributed to this episode and to the previous 673 episodes.  Thanks also to radio stations WEHC at Emory and Henry College, and WVRU at Radford University, for carrying the show on air each week.

We close Water Radio’s regular-episode era with one more musical selection.  Here’s about 1 minute/20 seconds of John McCutcheon’s “Water from Another Time,” a song rich in water imagery, fine music, and valuable words.  Here’s to that.

MUSIC - ~77 sec – lyrics: “New-born cry in the morning air, the past and the future are wedded there; in this wellspring of my sons and daughters, the bone and blood of living water.  And of Grandpa’s hands have gone to dust, like Grandma’s pump reduced to rust.  Their stories quench my soul and mind, like water from another time.  You don’t take much but you gotta have some; the old ways help, the new ways come; just leave a little extra for the next in line, they’re gonna need a little water from another time.  You don’t take much but you gotta have some; the old ways help, the new ways come; just leave a little extra for the next in line, they’re gonna need a little water from another time.  Gonna need a little water, need a little water, need a little water, gonna need a little water from another time.”


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, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of “Cripple Creek” to open and close this episode.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Thanks to Patrick Fay for helping create Virginia Water Radio in 2010.

The guest voices in this episode were recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Blacksburg, Va., during the last week of January 2024.  Thanks to the those five people for lending their voices to this episode.

The sounds heard in this episode were as follows.

Sound 1: Little Blue Heron fishing, plus Red-winged Blackbirds.  These sounds were from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at; this recording specifically is online at  These sounds were used previously in Episode 478, 6-24-19, on the Little Blue Heron.

Sound 2: Spokesman introducing the Northern Neck Chantey Singers.  This audio was taken from from a video of the group’s September 11, 2011, performance at the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase in Charlottesville, Va.; used with permission of Virginia Humanities (formerly the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities), located in Charlottesville and online at  The full performance video is available online at  Additional information from Virginia Humanities about the Northern Neck Chantey Singers and the Northern Neck of Virginia is available in the January 2024 article, “From Generation to Generation: Reedville Fishermen’s Museum.”  These sounds were used previously in Episode 635, 8-29-22, on Virginia Menhaden fishing.

Sound 3: Group of children and adults calling out “Take a kid to a park!”  This was recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Blacksburg, Va., on May 12, 2013.  This sound was used previously in Episode 655, 5-15-23, on Virginia state parks.

Sound 4: South Fork Roanoke River near Elliston, Va. (Montgomery County).  This was recorded by Virginia Water Radio on August 23, 2012.  This sound was used previously in Episode 363, 4-10-17, on stream insects.

Sound 5: Thunderstorm.  This was recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Blacksburg, Va., on April 20, 2015, 9 p.m.  This sound was used previously in Episode 568, 3-15-21, on Virginia’s annual springtime tornado drill.

The musicians and music heard in this episode were as follows (in the order heard); all music used with permission.  For each song, the most recent previous Virginia Water Radio episode using the music are listed; many of the songs have been used previously several times, and other music be each of the artists has been featured in many Water Radio episodes.

Kat Mills, “On a Ship,” from the 2015 album “Silver.”  More information about Kat Mills is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 651, 3-20-23.

Madeline MacNeil, “New Spring Waltz, ” from the 2002 album “Songs of Earth & Sea.”  More information about the late Madeline MacNeil is available from Janita Baker’s “Blue Lion Dulcimers & Guitars” Web site, online at  This music was used previously in Episode 627, 5-9-22, on spring songbirds nesting near water.

Timothy Seaman, “Bass Fisherman’s Reel,” from the 2004 album “Virginia Wildlife.”  More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 590, 8-16-21, on the rescue of an osprey caught in fishing line.

Torrin Hallett, “Tropical Tantrum,” composed in 2017.  More information about Torrin Hallett is available online at  Thanks very much to Torrin for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.  This music was used previously in Episode 656, 5-29-23, a preview of the 2023 Atlantic tropical cyclone season.

Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, “Samuel Mason,” from the 2010 album “All the Good Summers.”  More information about Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 491, 9-23-19, on Samuel Mason and on piracy historically and in modern times.

Chamomile and Whiskey, “Dirty Sea,” from the 2013 album “Wandering Boots.”  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 584, 7-5-21, on Operation Dry Water.

The Steel Wheels, “Valley,” from the 2010 album “Red Wing.”  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 355, 2-13-17, on Abraham Lincoln’s family roots in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

No Strings Attached, “Kartune,” from the 1992 album “Blue Roses.”  More information about No Strings Attached—a long-time Blacksburg- and Roanoke-based band which is no longer performing—is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 555, 12-14-20, on water-related jokes.

Bob Gramann, “Rappahannock Running Free,” from the 2008 album, “Mostly Live.”  More information about Bob Gramann is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 589, 8-9-21.

John McCutcheon, “Water from Another Time,” from the 1987 album “Gonna Rise Again.”  More information on John McCutcheon is available online at  This music was used previously in Episode 142, 12-31-12.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at


Diagram of the water cycle (also called the hydrologic cycle), from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “Water Science School/Water Cycle Diagrams,” online at, 2-7-24.


Please see the show notes for individual episodes of Virginia Water Radio for sources of information on many water-related topics.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (

Links are provided above in the Acknowledgments section to previous episodes using the sounds or music heard in this current episode.

Following are links to some milestone episodes.

Episode 1, 1-25-10, had an approximately eight-minute format and included water-related news and upcoming events, with only a short portion featuring water-related sounds or music.

Episode 67, 6-6-11, was the first episode to use a shortened format, focusing specifically on water-related sounds or music. 

Episode 500, 11-25-19, featured various sounds and musical selections used in the previous approximately 10 years of the show.

Episode 626, 4-25-22, marked 10 years of consecutive weekly episodes.  After that point, the show became biweekly, through this current episode.  Some of the 674 episodes have been revised versions of previous episodes.


Please see the Show Notes in individual episodes linked above for recommended Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by those episodes.

Following are some SOLs that may be supported by this current episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-4: Living Systems and Processes
3.5 – Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems support a diversity of organisms.

Grades K-5: Earth and Space Systems
3.7 – There is a water cycle and water is important to life on Earth.

Grades K-5: Earth Resources
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.
4.8 – Virginia has important natural resources.

Grade 6
6.6 – Water has unique physical properties and has a role in the natural and human-made environment.
6.8 – Land and water have roles in watershed systems.
6.9 – Humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment.

Earth Science
ES.6 – Resource use is complex.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

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 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
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.
Episode 606, 12-6-21 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.