Song Lyric Sunday | “You Don’t Miss Your Water” – William Bell

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “River/Stream/Creek/Brook.”


Sticking with my water prompt leads me to another song that’s sounds like it about a broken relationship, but it didn’t start out that way… You Don’t Miss Your Water.

Lyrically, the song’s theme revolves around the singer’s confession of his unfaithfulness to his lover and, now that she’s gone, his realization of his foolishness. However, Tennessee native William Bell was actually writing about being homesick while he played with jazz musician Phineas Newborn and his orchestra in New York.

You Don’t Miss Your Water did not chart in the Billboard R&B charts when it was first released in 1961, although it did reach #95 on the pop charts. Since then, the track has gone on to become a Southern soul classic. The song was also released on Bell’s 1967 album The Soul of a Bell, along with the original version of Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, which was more famously covered by Aretha Franklin.

  • Otis Redding, Taj Mahal, The Byrds, and Jerry Lee Lewis are just some of the artists who have released covers of You Don’t Miss Your Water.
  • Bell co-authored the Chuck Jackson hit, Any Other Way and  Billy Idol’s 1986 hit, To Be a Lover.

The video is from a live performance at the White House in 2014.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

You Don’t Miss Your Water

by William Bell
Songwriter: William Bell

In the beginning, you really loved me
But I was too blind and I couldn’t see

But now you’ve left me, oh, how I cry
You don’t miss your water, till your well runs dry

I kept you crying, sad and blue
I was a playboy and I wouldn’t be true
But when you left me and said ‘Bye, bye’
I missed my water, my well ran dry

Now, I sit and wonder and how can this be?
I never thought, you’d ever leave me

But now you’ve left me, oh, how I cry
You don’t miss your water, till your well runs dry
You don’t miss your water, till your well runs dry