February 21, 2018

Sea of Love: The top 13 songs about water.

Are we at Sloan obsessed with water? Well, it is more or less the basis of everything we do—from developing new water-saving bathroom products to pioneering new sustainability initiatives. So we’re happy to admit to an all-consuming focus on all things water-related.

This focus even affects our musical tastes. You know how you sometimes walk around all day with a song in your head? Here are a few tunes (in no particular order) we find ourselves humming from time to time.

  1. Sea of Love, Phil Phillips. You may know the Honeydrippers’ 1984 version better, but Phillips’ only Top-40 song—which peaked at #2 in 1959—is an all-time make-out classic.

  2. When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin. Seven minutes of dam-busting drums, relentless guitar riffs and lyrics that remind us too much water can actually be a bad thing.

  3. Aqueous Transmission, Incubus. Inspired by Japanese music and koi fish, this trippy 2001 ballad captures the dreaminess of drifting, lonely yet hopeful, down a river under the stars.

  4. Love Reign O’er Me, The Who. One of classic rock’s most majestic moments, this thunderous anthem is drenched in sound effects, kettle drums, piano, and guitar—and soaked in watery imagery. “Only love can bring the rain that falls like tears from on high.”

  5. You Don’t Miss Your Water, William Bell. Written as a metaphor for lost love, the lyrics—“You don’t miss your water ‘til your well runs dry”—could be a sadly literal statement if communities don’t get serious about water conservation. Also covered by Otis Redding and the Byrds.

  6. Ocean, John Butler. Have twelve minutes? Let this instrumental take you on a trip along your favorite coastline. Making his solo acoustic guitar sound like a full band, Butler demonstrates that there’s a big difference between a showoff and a virtuoso.

  7. The River, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’s disillusioned lovers—inspired by his real-life sister and brother-in-law—still “go down to the river, though we know the river runs dry.” Heartache with harmonica.

  8. Purple Rain, Prince. The Purple One at the peak of his power. Nothing compares.

  9. Water under the Bridge, Adele. If you’re going to name your song after one of the oldest clichés in the English language, you’d better write some heart-rending lyrics about trying to save your romance. And it helps if you’re Adele.

  10. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding. There’s nothing like the sound of water to put you in a reflective mood, and no one ever captured the feeling with more sweet soul than Otis Redding.

  11. I Sat by the Ocean, Queens of the Stone Age. Of course, the sound of water affects different people differently. If you’re Queens of the Stone Age, it makes you think about lies, betrayal and “crashing ships in the night.”

  12. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Bob Dylan. If you’re hoping for a song about a pleasant summer shower, you’re in the wrong place. Dylan’s apocalyptic 1963 opus combines nightmarish visions with defiant prophesy for a milestone of the folk era.

  13. Hold Back the River, James Bay. How do you capture the desperation of trying to stop the impossible? If you appreciate the power of water like we do, this acoustic-driven 2015 smash is all the answer you’ll ever need.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know, with a comment below!

From the 1906 invention of the Royal® Flushometer to today’s automatic fixtures, Sloan’s innovations have saved building owners billions of gallons of water. Want to know more? Talk to Sloan!

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