Wine Into Water

Album: Wine Into Water (1998)
  • One of the most famous alcohol recovery songs, "Wine Into Water" finds T. Graham Brown asking God to help him beat his addiction. He co-wrote the song when he was struggling with alcoholism; the lyrics resonate with alcoholics because they tell a true story about hitting rock bottom, thinking about the people you've hurt, and knowing that you need help, since there's no way you can beat it on your own.
  • Brown wrote this with the country songwriters Ted Hewitt and Bruce Burch.
  • Brown released his debut album, I Tell It Like It Used to Be, in 1986 and quickly rose up the ranks of country music, with three #1 hits by the end of the decade. His fortunes faded in the '90s when his label, Capitol Records, became enamored with Garth Brooks and diverted their attention away from Brown, who left the label and signed with Warner Bros. He languished at Warner and left 18 months later without releasing any music. Sony signed him, but that also resulted in nothing, and they dropped him as well.

    Brown developed an alcohol addiction during this time and wrote "Wine Into Water" about it. In 1995, he included the song on a self-financed album called From a Stronger Place that he sold at shows. In 1998, he issued the Wine Into Water album, with a re-recorded version of the title track, on the independent label Platinum Records. The song did well on Contemporary Christian radio and helped reboot Brown's career.
  • The title is a reference to a Bible passage (John 2:1-11) where Jesus turns water into wine. In the song, Brown needs the opposite to happen so he can cope with his addiction.
  • Loretta Lynn released a cover on her 2016 album Full Circle. The song resonated with Lynn because her husband Doolittle had a drinking problem. "That hits everybody who drinks," Lynn told NPR of the song. "When you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic and there's nothing you can do about it except get help."

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