James Carr – Pouring Water On A Drowning Man

Pouring Water on a Drowning Man charted at #85 in the Billboard 100 and #23 in the R&B Chart in 1966. This song is so easy to listen to. Great guitar sound and Carr’s voice is wonderful. The small intro is worth it. He lived in Memphis and was called  “the world’s greatest Soul Singer” but he had a bipolar disorder and that made it hard for him to tour because of the depression.

At one time he was mentioned along with Otis Redding and they had the same manager for a while. The guy had a great voice.

He toured Japan in1979 and stood motionless at the microphone as though in a hypnotic trance on many dates. He returned to Memphis, where he lived with his sister (in between institutionalizations), and spent much of the ’80s barely conscious of the world around him.

He did improve with medicine and in the 90s he did make an album, Take Me to the Limit and in 94 he released another album Soul Survivor. Soon after he died of lung cancer in 2001.

Pouring Water On A Drowning Man

You push me when I’m falling and you kick me when I’m down
I guess I missed my calling ’cause I should have been a clown
How much more, how much more could I stand
When you’re pouring water on a drowning man, I like that

Put me on the right track
And then you let me down
You stab me in the back, yes you do baby
Every time I turn around, oh

Criticize my loving
Won’t you try, just try to understand
You’re pouring water, I got to tell you about it, on a drowning man

You’re pouring water on a drowning man
You treat me like the fool that I am
You brag that I like everything you do
You put salt in my wounds it’s sad but it’s true

You warm me with your kissin’ then you leave me in the cold
How can I know your wishes, when you tell me, when I’ve never been told, alright
I cry in mercy baby, just try to understand
You’re pouring water, I got to tell you about it, on a drowning man, yeah

You’re pouring water, ha ha, you see I’m a drowning man
Oh I got tears in my eyes, I’m a drowning man
Don’t me drown, oh baby, I’m a drowning man
Don’t let me drown


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

22 thoughts on “James Carr – Pouring Water On A Drowning Man”

  1. That’s one helluva song. The lyrics are biting but truthful. I like that expression and might start using it. It’s too bad he struggled to maintain balance 😦 I’m going to see if the library has any of his music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know much about him but what a sound. I work with a guy from Memphis and he had heard of him because Carr was from there.
      This wasn’t his biggest hit….I just liked it off the bat the first time I heard it

      Liked by 1 person

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