Amid all the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its horrific aftermath, I have had a song running incessantly through my head. I had to Google it to remember just what it was and where it came from.
In the heart of the night
In the cool southern rain
There's a full moon in sight
Shinin' down on the Pontchartrain
And the river she rises
Just like she used to do
She's so full of surprises
She reminds me of you
In the Heart of the Night by Poco, circa 1970-something. Maybe not great art, but certainly evocative.
CNN ran an article on a Randy Newman song that may be on perma-replay on many peoples' Katrina mental soundtracks this September. The song is called Louisiana 1927, and it recalls another great flood, which hit the Mississippi River Delta region back in 1927.
The flood, as chronicled in John M. Barry's book "Rising Tide," led to dramatic changes in the United States. It was a factor in the Great Migration of African-Americans to northern industrial cities, and many of the migrants wrote songs and tales about the Great Flood.
"What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it start to rain ...
Rained real hard and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline ..."