"Five Feet High and Rising" as written by and Johnny R. Cash....
How high's the water, mama?
Two feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
She said it's two feet high and risin'

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat
That's the only thing we got left that'll float
It's already over all the wheat and oats,
Two feet high and risin'

How high's the water, mama?
Three feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
She said it's three feet high and risin'

Well, the hives are gone,
I lost my bees
The chickens are sleepin'
In the willow trees
Cow's in water up past her knees,
Three feet high and risin'

How high's the water, mama?
Four feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
She said it's four feet high and risin'

Hey, come look through the window pane,
The bus is coin', gonna take us to the train
Looks like we'll be blessed with a little more rain,
Four feet high and risin'

How high's the water, mama?
Five feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
She said it's five feet high and risin'

Well the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can't come back till the water goes down,
Five feet high and risin'

Well, it's five feet high and risin'


Lyrics submitted by toterkater, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Five Feet High and Rising" as written by Johnny R. Cash

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Five Feet High and Rising song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentCash wrote this song about the great flood of 1930-something when he was a young boy in Dyess, Arkansas. It ruined their family farm along with many others.
    jetseton August 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs. Notice the musical key of the song goes up a half step after each new "foot". His simple descriptions of the water levels paint a picture of his poor, rural viewpoint. You also understand he's a youngster by the frequent questions to his parents. The parents respond with a positive tone reminiscent of how a parent would speak to their young child.

    How many people in the present day would describe 4 feet of rising water as "Blessed with Rain".
    raiderroadtrip00on September 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnoah references/connections? Making the end of the world sound fun?:-)
    durham-redon June 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think flood will not going to be a big catastrophe that is when you get ot it.

    It floods here in the Philippines almost everyday, yeah, almost, even in the middle of summer days.

    Well, we get used to it, and many manage to make a living out of it.
    That's life and we just have to get a long.

    But ofcourse if the flood will take away lives, it would be a totally different situation then.

    Nice song about a flood, I never knew that there is a song about it.
    bear_hug20on November 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe farm was flooded, but the flood waters brought rich fertile soil and they had an excellent cotton crop as a result.

    Sometimes things fall apart so they can come together.
    Sindleon November 23, 2013   Link

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