Bill Oliver | Hooray for Hetch Hetchy

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Hooray for Hetch Hetchy

by Bill Oliver

Bill Oliver, “Environmental Troubadour” composed "Hooray for Hetch Hetchy" by special commission of Restore Hetch Hetchy. The mission of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hooray for Hetch Hetchy
3:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Yosemite National Park once included two great glacier carved valleys, both surrounded by towering granite cliffs with waterfalls cascading onto a serene valley floor. Yosemite Valley is one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and a popular destination for visitors around the world. Hetch Hetchy Valley, however, was dammed and flooded a century ago by the City of San Francisco – the only time such destruction has been allowed in any of America’s national parks.

Restore Hetch Hetchy is dedicated to returning Hetch Hetchy to its original splendor, and in 2015 filed lawsuit against San Francisco in the California courts – arguing that the City need not store water in Yosemite. Visit to follow the progress of this litigation.

In 2005, Restore Hetch Hetchy commissioned Environmental Troubadour Bill Oliver to write "Hooray for Hetch Hetchy." The song invites you to be inspired by the vision of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley, and to visit when restoration comes to pass.

Imagine yourself in Hetch Hetchy
On a sunny day in June
Standing waist deep in grasses and flowers
As John Muir often stood

While the great pines sway
With scarcely a motion
The waterfalls like thistledown
The water is woven in patterns and tones

That spirits might wear as a gown

Tueeulala Falls, Wapama Falls
Surging and frozen in time
Reverberating, rejoicing, and waiting
Chilling, haunting, sublime

Imagine yourself in Hetch Hetchy
Hiking up Kolana Rock
Two thousand feet over the Valley
Named by the ancient Miwok

Their spirits are here
The glaciers are here
If only this granite could talk
They do if you listen
And waterfalls glisten
When life if slowed down to a walk

Tueeulala Falls, Wapama Falls
Replenish the Tuolumne
The high mountain air
The deer and the bear
The mystery of Hetch Hetchy

Imagine a second Yosemite
One without all the cars
A treaty ‘twixt humans and Nature
Restoring and healing the scars

The meadows will bloom
The trees will resume
Their journeys up to the stars
As life reappears, the dam disappears
And we realize who we are

Tueeulala Falls will fall once again
To a Tuolumne River set free
And the world will come here
And hold this place dear
The miracle of Hetch Hetchy

Yosemite’s twin
We can all help give its freedom again
Soon to be seen
A grand landscape garden
Of the American Dream

Words and music by Bill Oliver © 2005 & 2018 Bill Oliver, Texas Deck Music, BMI.
Some lyrics are adapted from John Muir’s book, The Yosemite



to write a review

Harold Wood, Jr.

Tragedy turns to hope
At first you feel so sad for what we lost with Hetch Hetchy, but quickly this song fills you with hope! Beautifully done! A great trio with Bill Oliver‘s 2 related songs, Muir Power to You and Me and Stickeen.