Ellis Paul Writes About Hurricane Katrina
Ellis Paul is capable of telling poignant stories in 4 minutes; by the end of the song you feel like you watched a gorgeous cinematic movie. The imagery and story are so strong, I feel I was there watching this persons story unraveling in front of me. “Hurricane Angel” is one of those songs, singing about the struggles of a persons survival through Hurricane Katrina. Below is a quote taken from Ellis’ website discussing the inspiration and writing process. Seemed only fitting to post this today, reminds me to never forget, others are struggling in ways I hope I will never know; But mostly I am reminded to never stop reaching out my hand to help.
“Hurricane Angel is about a hurricane Katrina victim looking for God and a reason to believe. All of these far away characters- the president in air force one, an insurance guy in Delaware, and a credit card worker in India seem to be in control of his fate. He looks for an angel for some hopefulness. There was a news cast that talked about all the people being kicked out of the FEMA trailers, and they were sleeping 16 to a trailer. “I took a flat bed Ford up to Baton Rouge/ with four worn souls and one old cork screw/ You can drown New Orleans, but you can’t drown the blues/ so bartender, pour away… “
Hurricane Angel could be the best narrative song I’ve ever written. Its sad desperate hopeful in equal parts. I was having all these issues with debt and bills and I heard about Katrina victims being kicked out of their trailers because the trailers were poisonous. It was like a reality sandwich.
There’s always someone hurting more than the next person out there. I applied some of my problems to a fictitious character- always looking out to someone controlling his fate from a distance- a credit card guy in India-an insurance guy in Delaware, the president flying over in Airforce one. No one right there-right now. He ends up asking God for help- heavens even far away, but we pull hope out of it somehow. I’m proud of that song but I don’t find myself feeling entirely responsible for writing it-it kind of wrote itself. A lot of these songs were pulled from the ether like they’d been there all along. I can’t explain it better than that.”
Video filmed by Lynette Najimy of Bean Sprout Productions at the historical Guthrie Center in the Berkshires