From the wealth of musical talent in the Pioneer Valley have come river songs, to which you will find links and lyrics on this site.  Our richest source of river songs have come from the “Living Along the River” song contests sponsored by our umbrella organization, The Connecticut River Watershed Council

We will present as many of those songs on this site, featuring Pioneer Valley songwriters as often as we can.

First up will be Drew Hickum’s “1874 Mill River Flood Song,” presented at the 2010 “Living Along the River” celebration at Northampton’s Academy of Music.  The link to the YouTube version is here: and the lyrics are here:

1874 Mill River Flood Song

Andrew Hickum (copyright), Featuring Drew Hickum, voc, g; John Sheldon, el-g; Tex LaMountain, voc, g

Verse 1: Looking down from Petticoat Hill and Everybody’s Gone/ Where are the shops and wagon wheels and my little darling Dawn?/ It’s 18 Miles from Williamsburg to my little darling’s gate/ And it’s 18 hours since I last heard of my little darling’s fate

Chorus: Oh the rain sure is falling/ Oh the water sure is coming down/ Can’t you hear me, can’t you hear me calling?/ Will I ever see my baby now?

Verse 2: They put up a dam a mile wide way up on yonder hill/ And slowly filled the country side with Old Man Johnson’s Mills/ Old Man Johnson had a daughter and that little girl loved me/ And it’s Old Man Johnson’s damn water that took her away from me.


Verse 3: I worked my fingers to the bone when they closed that gap/ But 18,000 tons of stone couldn’t hold the water back/ Then it happened on one day, the hillside shook like thunder/ That old dam gave away and the town was buried under.