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This week, as KOR Water hawked its wares (new and old) at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, a friendly debate erupted between Paul Shustak and I. Paul is KOR’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. I’m one of three MBA summer interns.

As you can imagine, one of us has a distinct advantage when it comes to winning company arguments. But, Paul gave a little leeway on this one. After we spent Tuesday through Thursday listening to his looping 63-song water playlist in our trade show booth, I asked if I could try my hand at it for Friday.

As the last one awake in our rented Utah house, I worked late into the night and early morning, scouring my iTunes library to compile a water playlist for the trade show’s final day. Paul set the criteria, but he often violates some the rules himself. So, I decided to whittle the constraints down to the two that seemed most important:

1-Each song must (legitimately) be about water.

2-The songs must have a nice groove, allowing for comfortable downtime in the booth and providing a strong but not overpowering background during a sales pitch.

To clarify the first point with an anecdote: I initially placed Paul McCartney & Wings’ Band On The Run on my playlist, because the song enters its second half stride with the lyrics:

“Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash …”

But, as far as I recall, that’s the only time Sir Paul mentions water in the tune, so it’s hard to make an argument that Band On The Run is a water song. Therefore, I eliminated it.

In addition, ranking one song above another does not necessarily mean it’s a better song. It means that I think it’s a better water song, based on the criteria. For example, Bob Dylan’s When The Ship Comes In is one of my Top 5 favorite songs of all time. But, the acoustic guitar/harmonica background did not play well in a convention setting. It’s not on this list.

With that said, here are my Top 25 water songs. Next to each title, in parentheses, is the KOR employee who included it in his playlist.

25. Orinoco Flow, Enya (Paul)

24. Big River, Johnny Cash (me)

23. Yellow Submarine, The Beatles (me)

22. When The Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin (Paul)

21. Nightswimming, R.E.M. (me)

20. Ripple, The Grateful Dead (me)

19. Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, Creedence Clearwater Revival (Paul)

18. Wade In The Water, Babbie Mason (Paul)

17. Up On Cripple Creek, The Band (me)

16. Sail On, Sailor, The Beach Boys (Paul)

15. Black Water, The Doobie Brothers (Paul)

14. Take Me To The River, Al Green (Paul)

13. Riders On The Storm, The Doors (me)

12. Sea Of Love, Cat Power (Paul)

11. I Can See Clearly Now, Jimmy Cliff (somehow, we both missed this classic, which always makes me think of Cool Runnings and the comic genius of Doug E. Doug)

10. And It Stoned Me, Van Morrison (Paul)

9. Atlantis, Donovan (me)

8. The River of Dreams, Billy Joel (Paul)

7. Dry The Rain, The Beta Band (me)

6. No Rain, Blind Melon (me)

5. Beyond The Sea, Bobby Darin (Paul)

4. Tide Is High, Blondie (me)

3. Sittin’ On The Dock of The Bay, Otis Redding (me)

2. Sloop John B, The Beach Boys (Paul)

1. Rain, The Beatles (me)

That’s my list. Now we want to hear from YOU. What did I miss? What are your top water songs? Also, if you’re interested …

-Some other great water songs from my playlist: High Water (Bob Dylan); Just Like The Strange Rain (Elton John); Longer Boats (Cat Stevens); Peace Like a River (Paul Simon); Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival); Red Rain (Peter Gabriel); Seven Seas of Rhye (Queen); Shelter From The Storm (Bob Dylan); Swanee River (Ray Charles), Water (The Who).

-Some other great water songs from Paul’s playlist: Bride Over Troubled Water (Aretha Franklin); Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan); It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls); The River (Bruce Springsteen); Smoke On The River (Azul); Surfer Girl (The Beach Boys); Waterfalls (TLC); Who’ll Stop The Rain (Creedence Clearwater Revival); You Don’t Miss Your Water (Otis Redding); You Left The Water Running (Wilson Pickett).

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