Stormwater Songs
by John and Jan Haigis

John and Jan are Darby, PA residents who have a great interest in history, music, and the environment. As former co-presidents of the Darby Creek Valley Association, they have a great concern for various issues affecting water quality in the creek, which flows from Chester County into the Delaware River at Tinicum, south of the Philadelphia International Airport. To help publicize the problems of stormwater runoff and promote better stormwater management, they have written new lyrics to a number of popular songs, which they have graciously allowed me to post below. Please be aware that all lyrics are Copyright © 2010 by John Haigis.

To see a slideshow of images of Darby Creek (looking pretty and gentle as well as mean and overflowing), over which Jan and John sing a couple of their stormwater songs, click here, or see the embedded YouTube video below.

To learn more about John and Jan and their work, to hear more samples of their
music, or to book them for a performance for your school or organization,
visit their website,

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
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Tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

Keep your water on your property
Every way you can
Retention basin or rain barrel
Water for your plants

It won’t overwhelm the storm drains
Or flood the land around
Keep your water on your property
Let it soak into the ground.

Water gotta flow, water gotta flow
Water gotta flow somewhere, somewhere
Water gotta flow, water gotta flow somewhere

There’s a lot of water when its raining
There’s a lot of water we know –o-o-o
There’s a lot of water draining, it needs a place to go

And we can see how we can help it go
Help the water to flow-o-o-o
Don’t throw trash in the storm drains
Help the water to flow.

Tune: Goober Peas

To help with global warming there is a simple tool
To make our homes more comfortable
And keep our planet cool
Slowing down storm water, a home for birds and bees
Goodness how refreshing, planting lots of trees

Trees trees, trees, trees
Planting lots of trees
Goodness eco-logical
Planting lots of trees

Trees start out from seedlings, they are so very small
They need sun and nutrients to help them grow up tall
Give them lots of water, then someday you’ll see
Goodness green and beautiful
A land with lots of trees

Tune: My Favorite Things from "Sound of Music"

Basins retentive and surfaces pervious
Makes us less anxious and somewhat less nervious
When we know rain has some place it can go
We will not worry about storm overflow

Drains that can handle the loads that they're carrying
Greenways and trees on stream-buffers riparian
Landscaping techniques that slow down the flow
There are a few of the ways we can go

But with run off--and when drains clog
When rain soaks the land
The streams and the rivers fill up to their banks
And oh how we wish we’d planned.

Tune: Consider Yourself from "Oliver"

Consider the things, you do
Consider the impact on the environment
Think of the world, we share
Please care for our water and our air

Don’t let paper trash or anti-freeze or motor-oil
Run-off into the drain
Cause we know that all that stuff
from streets and parking lots
Runs off every time it rains

Consider the earth, your home
There’s so much to discuss
Think globally but please we must act locally
Consider it all up to us.

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Page last modified December 21, 2014