One time when I was growin' up
it was when I was a kid
there was nothin' to do at home
so I called up one of my friends and said,
"let's pack us a box lunch
and go down to the Nishnabotna
and go swimming
and maybe look for some toads"
my friend said he thought that's a good idea
'cos he didn't have nothin' to do either
and he was out of toads

So we packed up our box lunches
and we started out a-walkin'
and we come to a big iron bridge which was five miles from town
where we observed a big sign which says, "West Nishnabotna"
I says, "this here's the place
and, now if we could just find some toads
and go for a good swim we could have fun all day
doin' nothin', just loafin' around in the crick"

We jumped into that dirty water
and I thought we might be able to swim in it
but we quickly discovered that we could not even begin to dog paddle in it
because right where we was
the Nishnabotna was only 4 1/2 inches deep
so we wound up a-crawlin' along
down on all fours in it
through the mud and beer cans
and yucky things and old pieces of cars

We went past a bunch of fenders
and a couple of Plymouth hubcaps
and we come to a place where we thought there might be some toads
when we was surprised by a farmer who told us
to get on out of there and never come back
or he'd call up the sheriff
and have us put into jail for the rest of our natural born lives
with nothin' to eat but bread and water
so we'd starve

But time passes by real quickly when you're having fun
so we ran through the fenders and the mud to the bridge again
but when we got back there,
we sadly discovered that
the sun had been out and our backs was all so blistered so bad
we had to lay flat on our bellies for two weeks in bed
which made us sick to our stomachs
and we didn't care about nothin' anymore

It just ain't too good for your livers
to go swimmin' in that river
you can get cut up pretty bad in there
and there ain't too many toads
there's nothin' but mud in there
and there's all kinds of crud
and it's layin' all over the place
so you better watch out

If you wanna get sick
just go crawlin' around in that crick
there's a lot of bad things that can happen to you

No, it ain't good for your liver
to hunt toads in that river
the West Nishnabotna
is the creek of my childhood

Lyrics submitted by AHK

Nishnabotna song meanings
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