Released on September 10, 2001, this song, with its message of strength, became the unwitting anthem for the United States after the terrorist attacks. September 13 was the first time Billy Montana heard it. He says: "The song had been on Jo Dee Messina's Burn
album for over a year, and it was the fourth single off of that project. It was released to radio on September 10th, 2001. So, of course, September 11th the buildings went down, the World Trade Center. And if you ever can go back to remembering how things were for that week, there's things that I recall, first of all, people were standing in blood lines for days to give blood. People were wanting to know where they could send contributions to for the victims and the families of the victims. They weren't wanting to be entertained. To my recollection, all of the radio stations in town turned to news information, and just call-in. Everything as normal was not normal. It kind of shut down. And so that all was still going down two days later.
We fly an American flag in our front yard, and I pulled up the driveway, and I had the radio on a Country station when 'Bring On The Rain' came on, and that's the first time I heard it on the radio. And it was interwoven with sound bites from Ground Zero, and President Bush speaking, and Giuliani speaking, and sound bites from the firemen, and I mean it was just an overwhelming moment. Because at that time everybody was looking to be able to do something – anything. That's kind of the attitude I think that the whole country had. So, an extremely powerful moment. I just broke down, it was just overwhelming. Because when you think about it, when I go back and analyze it, the whole reason I got into writing songs is because I was affected by songs when I was young. And that's what you want to do; you want to be able to communicate some sort of empowering message. Not all the time. I mean, sometimes you want to entertain. But the songs that I listened to were songs that dealt with – I'm saying that I grew up on and fell in love with – were the songs that dealt with feelings.
Anyway, we began to think – and not that it mattered at the time, because it was like, wow, is this going to be a song about 9/11? And obviously it didn't start out that way, because 9/11 hadn't even happened, and it had already been shipped to radio two weeks prior, and it wasn't. I just think it was timely that it served to assist, I think, a little bit in the healing process when radio stations went back to playing music.
They didn't even do a music chart that week because nobody was playing songs. When the chart fired up again, there was a very small number of songs, like maybe 5, that had any upward mobility. And that included 'God Bless The USA
,' I think Faith Hill's version of 'The Star Spangled Banner,' a couple of other songs like that, and 'Bring On The Rain.' Everything else went backwards because there was no music for a while."