Irrational rain lyric rundown

by Tom Albrighton 6 July 2012 Music

With the UK weather showing few signs of improvement, it’s only natural to turn to music for comfort. Sadly, even the greatest songwriters have come a cropper when it comes to rain, penning lyrics that range from the perplexing to the downright illogical. Here are the worst offenders.

Guns ’n’ Roses ‘November Rain’

‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

Two points here. First, it’s relatively easy to hold a candle in the rain – I’d hazard that many householders managed it while hurrying home from the corner shop during the power cuts of the 1970s. What is problematic, however, is keeping it alight.

Secondly, why November rain specifically? Is the rain of the other 11 months less likely to extinguish Axl’s flaming wick? Anyone would think the band were drunk when they made this album… oh.

Buddy Holly ‘Raining in my Heart’

The weatherman says fine today
He doesn’t know that you’ve gone away
And it’s raining
Raining in my heart

Holly contends, not unreasonably, that ‘the weatherman’ knows little of his relationship trouble. However, we’re left wondering whether the forecast would really be that different if the meteorologist had full knowledge of Buddy’s breakup. Would the National Weather Service research and publish a microlocal forecast for an area as small as Buddy Holly’s heart? I suggest not.

The Everly Brothers ‘Cryin’ in the Rain’

Raindrops falling from Heaven
Could never wash away my misery
Since we’re not together
I pray for stormy weather
To hide these tears I hope you never see

After two equally mystifying verses, the middle eight finally clears up the question every listener’s been asking themselves: what benefit, exactly, is realised by crying only in bad weather? As it transpires, it’s the dubious idea that the raindrops will disguise the tears – assuming, of course, that Don/Phil isn’t wearing a hood.

So much for appearances, but what about the sound of sobbing? Waiting for thunderclaps is one option, albeit an impractical one. My suggestion is far more robust: install an inexpensive power shower with an intrusively loud pump, perhaps coupled with a powerful extractor fan, and synchronise your ablutions with your emotional lows. Job done!

Travis ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’

Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining
I can’t avoid the lightning

Yes, that’s right Fran. Due to your verbal dissimulation many years ago, you must now suffer perennial localised precipation of the most unlikely kind – not to mention the downright impossible electrical activity without clouds being present. On the plus side, if the songwriting doesn’t pan out, you can always rent yourself out to farmers in Africa.

Jason Donovan ‘Rhythm of the Rain’

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again

Well, I’m listening, Jason, but what I’m hearing is a highly complex, irregular and densely polyrhythmic pattern that doesn’t seem to repeat very often, if at all. In fact, apart from a persistent drip from my decaying guttering, I’m not sure whether, in the strictest sense, it actually qualifies as a rhythm at all.

Phil Collins ‘I Wish It Would Rain Down’

Now I, now I wish it would rain down, down on me
Yes, I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Yes, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Yes, I wish it would rain on me

Collins, normally the most workmanlike of songwriters, lets himself down badly here by failing to advance even a token justification for his rain-wish. Why do you wish it would rain down, Phil? Tear camouflage? Rhythmic entertainment? Or what?

Weather Girls ‘It’s Raining Men’

It’s raining men
Hallelujah! It’s raining men! Amen!
I’m gonna go out
I’m gonna let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!

Vaginal interpretations aside, it’s hard to see how this lyric stands up to intelligent analysis. Even if we do accept that adult males are falling from the sky in place of droplets of precipitation – a bit of a stretch in itself – it’s clear that anyone venturing out in such conditions would not get ‘absolutely soaking wet’ at all. They’d get really badly hurt.

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