Holes in the Floor of Heaven is inarguably one of the saddest country songs ever written and released. It was first introduced to the airwaves and into the ears and minds of listeners on March 24, 1998, as a single from Steve Wariner’s album, Burnin’ The Roadhouse Down.
What makes this song touch deeply into the hearts of the listeners is how it precisely depicts the overwhelming ache of losing a loved one. The experience is described as a struggle that lasts for a lifetime, like an open wound that never really closes for good for some people. Based on the lyrics of Holes in the Floor of Heaven, which is told in first-person POV, the narrator is contemplating on the passing of his grandmother and his wife. His wife died due to complications that followed after she gave birth to their daughter. For each death, he was engulfed by immense sadness. The only way he was able to somehow console himself from the pain was through the idea that there are holes formed on the floor of heaven whenever it rains, and that’s how the tears of his departed loved ones are pouring down. The holes also allow his loved ones to watch over him while wishing that they could join him and be with him once again.
During the song’s final verse, it is revealed that his now all-grown-up, 23-year-old daughter is about to be wed. After the wedding ceremony, the cold rain pours once again and the narrator is once again overcome with grief. But his daughter comforts him by telling him that the rain does not represent sorrowful feelings, but rather, her late mother’s tears of pure happiness.
Part of the lyrics reflected Steve Wariner’s real life. In an interview, he revealed that he had just lost his grandmother prior to the song’s release. While he and his co-writer, Billy Kirsch were working on the song, they drew inspiration from the experience of losing one’s grandparents. From there, they simply let the creative juices and ideas flow. The end result was a song that reminded so many individuals of the psychological and emotional rollercoaster journey that losing a close family member can be.