A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall


It’s been raining non-stop for 3 or 4 days.  This is Seattle, I understand that we receive quite a bit of rainfall every year, but when you don’t get any breathing space between bouts of rain, you start to get a little down.  Cabin fever definitely sets in.  The dog looks at you sideways because he hasn’t been on a proper walk in a while.  The drivers, always terrible here, become even worse, if that is at all possible.  Somehow, it’s always possible.  You would think that in a city accustomed to rain, the drivers would be able to navigate the watery streets like ducks in a pond.  Nope.  Not even close.  Slowed driving, hazard lights blinking, lane straddling…pretty much every idiot maneuver you can think of, Seattleites are guilty of when it rains (of course, they’re guilty when it’s sunny out as well, and don’t even get me started on how they act when it snows).

There are a lot of songs written about the rain.  There are a fair amount of songs written about other weather phenomena, like snow, but that is usually associated with a time of year – Christmas.  Likewise, there are lots of songs written about the sun.  And here’s where we get into a nice dichotomy – ‘sun’ songs seem to be about hope and potential, whereas many ‘rain’ songs are about depression, indecision, disappointment.  Rain seems to be universally associated with negative connotations, and yet, without it, we wouldn’t have our nice green, leafy landscapes, enough water to consume, and an entire industry devoted to specialized rainwear.  Confronting the uncomfortable conditions of rain gives you the strength to deal with what’s around the corner, both physically and spiritually, which, I imagine, is why the concept of rain is used as a metaphor for overcoming difficult situations.

You know where this is leading, it’s time to talk about my favorite songs that deal with rain.  Let’s get the obvious out of the way – yes, Prince wrote the BEST song about rain (which would be, of course, ‘Purple Rain’).  This 8-plus minute mostly live performance is sublime in the way it deals with a crumbling relationship and the hope for a brighter tomorrow – with or without rain.  Other good ‘rain’ songs include both ‘The Rain Song’ and ‘Fool In The Rain’ by Led Zeppelin.  The prior is wistful while the second is once again situated in the ‘oddly hopeful’ category of rain songs.  Eurythmics ‘Here Comes the Rain Again’ is a decent representation of their early, more synthetic sounds.  Creedence has a great entry with ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’, the grunge generation gets a couple shout outs with Garbage’s ‘Only Happy When It Rains’ and Blind Melon’s ‘No Rain.’  If you like disco, I suppose ‘It’s Raining Men’ by The Weather Girls uses a nice metaphor about rain to make a point about hooking up.  The Beatles had ‘Rain’, and The Beta Band had ‘Dry the Rain.’  There are more, way more, and my favorites are probably not indicative of what you like.  But no matter what, when it rains, and rains constantly, if you’re anything at all like me, your mind probably tends to drift towards songs about the rain.

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