If you’ve still got enough power on a device that can play music, here is a playlist to try and get through the winds, rain and floods of Hurricane Florence. We’ll skip the obvious entries from the Scorpions, Neil Young or REO Speedwagon, but add those if you are so moved.
1. The dB’s, “She Won’t Drive in the Rain Anymore” (2012) — Inspired by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where dB’s co-leader Peter Holsapple lived. The storm drove his family back to North Carolina and Holsapple co-wrote this song from the point of view of his wife.
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2. Swift Creek, “Bluegrass Hurricane” (2016) — In 2015, a tropical storm drove the Wide Open Bluegrass festival inside the Raleigh Convention Center. Kevin Brown of the Raleigh band Swift Creek was moved to write this song.
3. Jimmy Buffett, “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season” (1974) — A song that perfectly captures the fatalism of staying at the beach with a hurricane approaching. This week found Buffett actually “Surfing in a Hurricane” during Florence.
4. Lin Manuel-Miranda, “Hurricane” (2015) — The eye of a hurricane can be a metaphor for many things. Those who have scored “Hamilton” tickets will hear this one sung live onstage at Durham Performing Arts Center later this year.
5. David Wilcox, “Eye of the Hurricane” (1989) — In a similar vein is this gem from Asheville singer/songwriter Wilcox.
5. Susan Cowsill, “Crescent City Sneaux” (2010) — Hurricane Katrina’s contrast with the snow that had fallen on New Orleans the previous Christmas inspired this loving rumination on life in the Crescent City.
6. Randy Newman, “Louisiana 1927” (1974) — Musical bookend to “Sail Away” (Newman’s heartbreaking song about the slave trade), “Louisiana 1927” recounts the devastating aftermath of a great flood that submerged Louisiana.
7. Bob Dylan, “High Water (for Charley Patton)” (2001) — Released on Sept. 11, 2001, “High Water” is another song that recounts a flood of biblical proportions. Maybe he’ll play that one at DPAC, too.
8. Dirty Dozen Brass Band, “What’s Going On” (2006) — A cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic, updated to reflect post-Katrina events in New Orleans with Public Enemy’s Chuck D on the mike.