Although Newman was born in Los Angeles, he grew up in Louisiana, and wrote this slow, somber ballad about the great flood in 1974. But 21 years later another, similarly terrible natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Katrina hit the Deep South, and Newman's song was adopted as an unofficial anthem. He performed it in a television fundraiser on September 9, 2005, and it is now indelibly associated with two of the Deep South's greatest tragedies.
In a September 2008 interview with The Village Voice
, he was asked if he would be playing it at every show until he retired. He replied: "I wouldn't have, because it's the same tune as 'Sail Away' and it's not quite as good a song maybe. But yeah, I do. I figure I'll be playing it now because people want to hear it."
Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2