“Lord, here comes the flood
We will say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent and any still alive
It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up dreamers, you’re running dry”
Taken from the album Peter Gabriel
This first appeared on Peter Gabriel’s 1977 debut, but the version I love is from the 1990 compilation Shaking The Tree, re-recorded to match Peter’s original vision for the track, a sparse ballad that sounds halfway between a Kate Bush piano piece and a hymn. Although it wasn’t released as a single it was included on 2003’s Hit, and thank God it was as it’s truly one of his best ever songs.
The lyrics, which are basically concerned with the end of the world, have a nightmarish quality that is made all the more creepy by the minimalist approach and echoey production. ‘Here Comes The Flood’ really does remind me heavily of Kate Bush, the lyrics are a clear influence on her songs like ‘Hello Earth’ and ‘A Coral Room’, and the production style is one she would adopt for some of her most beautiful moments like ‘My Lagan Love’ and ‘Under The Ivy’. For influencing those songs, ‘Here Comes The Flood’ deserves some sort of Hall Of Fame award.
Peter Gabriel is a bit of a hit and miss artist with me, his hits collection is fantastic but with more than a few weak moments – it really is the moments where he gets it right that hold the whole thing together. And boy, when he gets it right, he really smashes it. On ‘Here Comes The Flood’, he fulfils his vision, creates a world and places us directly inside it.