Skip to content Skip to navigation

Stop! Look! Listen! Dafna Izenberg's Music Recommendation

Peter Gabriel has described his song “Here Comes the Flood” as being metaphorical, about a washed-over, infiltrated state of mind more than an actual natural disaster. Nearly fifty years after its release on his self-titled 1977 album, and in the immediate wake of deadly mudslides in southern B.C., it seems like a literal prophecy. I first heard it while watching the TV series The Americans, in which it plays behind—and steals—a heartbreaking season-ending scene. I immediately became obsessed by the song's eerie prelude, crashing chorus and cryptic narrative; I listened to it on repeat for several weeks, and then put away the LP (bought used for $9.49 at Sonic Boom in Toronto, where I haven’t been since before Christmas 2019) until a recent afternoon when I needed to drown out the noise of a busy household. Ever since, I’ve been singing this line to myself: If again, the seas are silent in any still alive/It’ll be those who gave their islands to survive. What does Gabriel mean? What did he know? What is the moral formula for getting out of this mess? I move the needle back to the start of the song and listen again.   
Dafna Izenberg is a writer and magazine editor who lives in Toronto. She has previously published creative nonfiction in The Fiddlehead and Hazlitt and fiction in The New Quarterly. She currently works as the feature editor at The Walrus
Dafna's story "Is that a reason to close the pool?" will appear in Issue 295 (Spring 2023)