Monday, October 19, 2020

Episode 547 (10-19-20): A Sprinkling of Water Expressions, Featuring "Love Rain Down" by Carbon Leaf

 Click to listen to episode (4:46)

Sections below are the following:

Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-16-20.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 19, 2020.

MUSIC – ~ 11 sec – instrumental

This week, music by a Richmond, Va.-based band opens an episode on water expressions in language.  Have a listen for about 50 more seconds.

MUSIC  - ~49 sec

“Effortless, she showers down

Down from every single cloud

Like the rain, she likes to soak

When you don't have it, nothing grows
When the last word on love falls upon the ground
If the last ray of sun don't ever shine
Well, I can't say that I was ever ready
But I can sure say it was time

That I let love rain down

Yeah, I let love rain down....”

You’ve been listening to part of “Love Rain Down,” by Carbon Leaf, from the 2013 album “Constellation Prize.”  Since forming in the early 1990s at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., Carbon Leaf has produced 20 albums and done thousands of live shows with music that, according to the band’s Web site, “drifts in and out of Americana, bluegrass, rock, folk, Celtic, and pop traditions with ease, using an arsenal of instruments.”  As in the selection you heard, the band has used water words and images in a number of its songs.  That made a Carbon Leaf song just right to launch a cruise through some water-related expressions.

We start with some water-related proverbs, that is, common sayings or adages, from a list compiled by Utah State Extension.

When it rains it pours;
Still waters run deep;
Don’t change horses in mid-stream; and
With too many rowers, the ship will crash into the mountain.

Next, also from the Utah State list, here are a few water metaphors, that is, expressions where a word or phrase is used for another to suggest something similar or comparable.

When your ship comes in;
Tip of the iceberg;
Feeling swamped;
Get your feet wet; and
Something smells fishy.

Last, from students at Otley All Saints Primary School in England, here are several water similes, that is, expressions comparing things using the words “like” or “as.”

The river is like a silver ribbon, laid across the land.
The rapids crash from side to side like a lion trying to get out of its cage.
The rapids zoom like footballers trying to score goals.
The waterfall is like a diver, reaching for the waters that await it.

This is, of course, only a drop in the bucket of water-related expressions, because humans’ language creativity is a deep well that never runs dry.

Thanks to Carbon Leaf for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 20 more seconds of their “Love Rain Down.”

MUSIC  - ~17 sec

“That I let love rain down.”


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


“Love Rain Down,” from the 2013 album “Constellation Prize,” is copyright by Carbon Leaf, used with permission.  More information about Carbon Leaf is available online at  Lyrics for Carbon Leaf’s songs are available online at

Some other water-imagery/metaphor songs by Carbon Leaf are the following:
“A Song for the Sea,” from the 2013 album “Ghost Dragon” (this music was used in Virginia Water Radio Episode 538, 8-17-20, on Chesapeake Bay “smart” buoys);
“Drops of Rain,” from the 2010 album “Nothing Rhymes with Woman, 2010”;
“Flood,” from the 1997 album “Shadows in the Banquet Hall”;
“Lake of Silver Bells,” from the 2010 album “Nothing Rhymes with Woman”;
“Shellfish,” from the 1995 album “Meander”;
“The Sea,” from the 2004 album “Indian Summer.” 

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at


Used for Audio 

Carbon Leaf, “About,” online at This is the source of the quote used in this episode’s audio script.

Mike Holtzclaw, “Carbon Leaf still going strong after 26 years,” [Newport News] Daily Press, March 14, 2019, online at 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Metaphor,” online at; “Proverb,” online at; and “Simile,” online at

Otley All Saints C of E Primary School blog, “River Metaphors and Similes,” online at, September 12, 2011.  The school is in Otley, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom; online at

Utah State University Extension, “Water Sayings,” online at

For More Information about Water in Metaphors

Anna Ojalahti, “The physical and metaphorical power of water is a universal human concern,” October 5, 2017, University in Tampere, Finland, “Research and Study” blog.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” subject category.

Following are links to some other water expressions and imagery in language. 

Episode 142, 12-31-12 – John McCutcheon’s “Water from Another Time.”
Episode 200, 2-10-14
– “River Runs Dry” by Kat Mills.
Episode 296, 12-28-15
– Setting a Course for 2016 with “On a Ship” by Kat Mills.
Episode 401, 1-1-18
 – Diving into 2018 with “Driving Rain” by Chamomile and Whiskey.


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2013 Music SOLs 

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2017 English SOLs

5.4, 6.5, 7.4, 8.4, 8.5, 9.3, 9.4, 10.3, 10.4, 11.4 – symbols, imagery, figurative language, and other literary devices. 

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15
– on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15
– on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16
– on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16
– on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18
– on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18
– on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18
– on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18
– on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19
– on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20
– on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20
– on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20
– on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.