Stories Behind The Songs: Holy Water

July 25, 2016 — Jon Foreman

"Give me the waters that could help me heal"
- Holy Water



It’s been a long drought in San Diego. We crave the rain- we long for it. A few weeks ago when I heard rain on the roof- I walked outside just to feel the water on my skin. Everyday on my way to the studio, I drive past fields that bear the scars of California wildfires. Twisted, dead trees on the barren black land. It’s the dark side of the moon, it’s a different planet- a charred reminder of the drought we’re in.

The other day as I was driving past this barren earth, I began to think of my inner landscape. How many times does my soul look similar: burned, dead ground- abandoned and longing for rain…I know what it’s like to be thirsty- thirsty for more than just water. When your very soul is parched and dry, longing for the heavens to open up. And this rain feels like holy water, it feels like a miracle- washing the world clean, bringing everything to life. A baptism. A second birth. Waking me up, bringing me back from the dead.

Musically, this song felt like a homecoming of sorts for us. For Fading West we wanted to create a soundtrack for the film. And with this in mind, Fading West had a very intentional, restricted use of the electric guitar. But for this record, we had no limitations. Playing Holy Water for the first time truly felt like we had picked up our guitars again after a few years of dust. It felt as if rock and roll had thrown us a welcome home party.

Categories: Journal

  • John Trenter

    And most of the fans of SF have loved it–after all, one cannot have too much of God’s good rain that comes from the Stone and Source of Living Water. Love the metaphors and music that goes with them!! May those waters rain down on parched areas of our good earth such as Fallujah to name just one!

  • Jason vanRijn Kasper

    Oh man, Jon, this is SO true. Your words spark an emotion in me and I recognize the truth as I read it and hear it resonate in my soul. I need Holy Water so bad. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Chris DiDonna

    Love this thought. And I love the classic Switchfoot sound!!

  • Helen

    I love this song so much – it feels to me like some of my old favourites of yours just gave birth to an even better song, which is an incredible achievement. I hope one day I get to see it played live. The imagery and ideas are so strong, and musically, right up there with the all time greats. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Priscila Erlich

    As always your songs are deep ! Holy water is like our souls longing for God!! This is what I need, it is all I need in my daily life ! God bless you!

  • Cheryl Clark

    This has been one of my favorite songs on the album. It speaks straight to the human condition and longing for the truth. We love it.

  • Really good thoughts here, Jon. Thanks! I am so looking forward to getting the new record.

  • Kyri

    Great song, Jon, and great metaphors. I know exactly what you mean about the droughts and the apocalyptic scene, being from a part of Australia with a very similar climate to San Diego. We’ve had *floods* here the last few days, so sometimes we get more than what we ask for!

  • Ron Dunbar

    love your honesty jon!. the new project is great!. i had mentioned at Creation East that IF possible, my 5 year old grandson who calls the band SwitchTOE, would love to have his picture taken with the guys. i will be working as crew chief at thesoulfest so if we can make it happen AFTER sound check it would be as you said “epic”. thanks and God bless. praying for traveling mercies.

  • Pragya Tripathi

    The moment I heard this song for the first time I felt instantly in love. Love everything about this song. It somehow reminded me of Erosion – One of my favorite old school song of yours. You have been putting so much thought and honesty into every single note it makes it all worth it. Thank you for this record, and all the past records – truly a work of art

  • Caleb Alvarado

    I’ve translated this to spanish for the latin american fans, happy to hear the guitars in your music guys!!

  • Zack Meuth

    Jon YOU DAH MAN. Please get the bois and come and rock out in my college town of LEXINGTON KENTUCKY so i can finally meet you all! Love your beautiful and artful music. God Bless!

  • Andy

    Thanks Jon for sharing the story behind Holy Water (looking forward to hearing the others), a great song to start off an awesome album! I particularly like the sound of the verses.

  • Paige Croft Leger

    Upon popping Where the Light Shines Through into the CD player, and hearing the opening chords of Holy Water, I knew I was going to love this album. And it didn’t disappoint! Every song tells a story. We all need a good washing every now and then πŸ™‚


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