You think I'm over the hill, think I'm past my prime.


Spirit on the water, darkness on the face of the deep

I keep thinking about you baby, and I can't hardly sleep

I'm traveling by land, traveling through the dawn of the day

You're always on my mind, I can't stay away

I'd forgotten about you, then you turned up again

I always knew we were meant to be more than friends

When you're near it's just as plain as it can be

I'm wild about you gal, you ought to be a fool about me

Can't explain the sources of this hidden pain

You burned your way into my heart, you got the key to my brain

I've been trampling through mud, praying to the powers above

I'm sweating blood, you got a face that begs for love

Life without you doesn't mean a thing to me

If I can't have you, I'll throw my love into the deep blue sea

Sometimes I wonder why you can't treat me right

You do good all day, and then you do wrong all night

When you're with me, I'm a thousand times happier than I could ever say

What does it matter what price I pay

They brag about your sugar, brag about it all over town

Put some sugar in my bowl, I feel like laying down

I'm as pale as a ghost, holding a blossom on a stem

You ever seen a ghost? No, but you've heard of them

I see you there, I'm blinded by the colors I see

I take good care of what belongs to me

I hear your name ringing up and down the line

I'm saying it plain, these ties are strong enough to bind

Now your sweet voice calls out from some old familiar shrine

I got no choice, can't believe these things would ever fade from your mind

I could live forever with you perfectly

You don't ever have to make a fuss over me

From East to West, ever since the world began

I only mean it for the best, I want to be with you any way I can

I been in a brawl, now I'm feeling the wall

I'm going away, baby, I won't be back 'til fall

High on a hill you can carry all my thoughts with you

You've numbed my will, this love could tear me in two

I won't be with you in paradise, and it seems so unfair

I can't go to paradise no more, I killed a man back there

You think I'm over the hill, think I'm past my prime

Let me see what you got, we can have a whoppin' good time

"SPIRIT ON THE WATER" was recorded early in 2006 for 'Modern Times', released in August of 2006. The live debut of "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" in San Diego, during the ninth night of the fall tour of 2006 was the sixth song from 'Modern Times' performed on stage. Altogether this song appeared in 11 of the 29 shows during that tour. During the fine European tour in the spring of 2007 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" appeared in every show except the first two.

During the North American summer tour of 2007 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" was performed in 23 of the 27 shows; and during the New Zealand and Australia tour in August 2007 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" appeared in ten of the 12 shows. During the USA fall tour of 2007 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" was performed in 28 of the 30 shows.

In 2008 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" was performed during all sixteen shows of the (mainly) Latin America tour in February and March; and another 37 times from May 2008 to November 2008. In 2009 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" appeared in 54 shows, and in 2010 it was performed 23 times. In 2011 Dylan chose to sing it on 20 occasions, and in 2012 he performed it 20 times as well.

During the "static set list year" 2013 "SPIRIT ON THE WATER" was performed 56 times, as a regular song both in the spring (with powerful harmonica by Dylan) and in the autumn (without any harmonica at all).


Biblical references:

~ Genesis 1:1+2 ~

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

~ Genesis 4:2-16 ~

Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.