Album: Jars of Clay (1995)
Charted: 37
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Vocalist Dan Haseltine recalled on the liner notes of Wow #1 Hits how this song came together after the band formed at Greenville College in Illinois: "'Flood' was written during our last days at college. We were playing a concert in St. Louis that we wanted to have a rock and roll song to perform. We are not really sure what the inspiration for the song was because it was a bright sunny day with a cool breeze. Not exactly the perfect conditions to write a song about downpour and mud. We were truly tortured artist types."
  • Jars of Clay is a Contemporary Christian band, so this song is often interpreted as being about the great flood described in the Book of Genesis. In that story, Noah builds his famous ark and saves two of every animal from the deluge.

    This song, however, has nothing to do with that story. In a radio interview, the band said it "is not about Noah!"
  • When this song peaked at #37 in June 1996, it was the only song by a Christian band to cross over into the Hot 100 that year. A few years later, other Christian bands - notably Creed and Evanescence - became regulars on the pop charts. Jars of Clay never had another Hot 100 hit, but continued to do very well in the CCM genre.

    It should be noted that all of these artists consider themselves rock bands with Christian beliefs that influence their songs - they are not evangelizing. Dan Haseltine explained it this way when we spoke with him: "People have this idea that when we got out into the mainstream that we could have totally sold out and gone to the dark side, but we chose not to and we chose to stand firm on our feet. That is a version of the story that assumes there is this 'us' and 'them' mentality. Like the world is out to get us and we are fighting against them. And we don't see it that way. We never really have. We're just: let's write these songs from our perspective.

    We've always felt like we just are a band, and we write honestly from our perspective and our world view. All of us grew up in the church, all of us have had this experience with faith and have found that there are elements of it that have rooted themselves in our hearts and our lives in ways that we can't separate them from the way that we write."
  • Former King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew produced this song, giving it a rich sound that was the aural equivalent of a deluge. Belew used what he calls an "over-compression" technique on the track, where instead of squeezing the spectrum to compress the sound, he expands it to increase its dynamic range.

    "He just came at it with this really creative angle," Dan Haseltine recalled in our interview. "He played some of the string parts on 'Flood,' also, and really helped orchestrate that whole piece in the middle. All of it made that song incredibly unique-sounding."
  • This plays through the end credits of the 1998 action movie Hard Rain. The song also appears in the 2002 film A Walk to Remember and the 1996 documentary Snowriders.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 2

  • Melissa from Waco, TxThis is a cool song. This is the first time I've heard this version. I'm more used to hearing this song done by VeggieTales. :)
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArSomone told me the band intentionally tuned their instruments off true chord (a little bit) for this song.
see more comments

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.