Monsoon melodies

Monsoon melodies
But of course I will start with the Singin’ In The Rain! Admit it, when you think rain and music, you have Gene Kelly tap dancing in your head, swinging that umbrella, ain’t he? It’s possibly the joyous ode to rain, the song that will bring that smile on a rainy day. Not everyone is overjoyed at rain, though. Most often than not, rain, not surprisingly after all, seems to be a metaphor for melancholy. For instance, the song that stands for Prince, Purple Rain, is all about heartbreak. Prince apparently is said to have said: “…purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.” Shine it may not always, but rain did catch the fancy of many musicians. Here are a few obscure gems that serenade rain…

Early Morning Rain (1966): It was a song on the 1966 debut album of Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot called Lightfoot. As rain songs go, this one kills it with its pathos: “In the early morning rain with a dollar in my hand/and an aching in my heart, and my pockets full of sand/I'm a long way from home, and I miss my loved one so/In the early morning rain with no place to go.”

Blue Eyes Cryin' In The Rain (1975): Originally recorded in 1945 by Roy Acuff, Hank Williams. But the finest version of this melancholic song was recorded by Willie Nelson in 1975. For country singer Nelson, this was the song that took him to the heights of fame. And slipped back into obscurity, never again could he top the charts.

Rain Dogs (1985): Thanks to its very gypsy build up – Tom Waits uses marimba, accordion, double bass, trombone, and banjo, while the rest of the world is heavily into drums and synthesisers — you can easily imagine him huddling from the downpour with a dog. Just log on to Youtube and pull out a live performance of Rain Dogs. It’s fun watching Waits howl like a dog.

Here Comes The Rain (1984): Mind you, it is a sad, sad song, but trust Annie Lennox and David A Stewart of Eurythmics to mourn in an upbeat fashion. According to Stewart, the song is about “wandering in and out of melancholy, a dark beauty that sort of is like the rose that’s when it’s darkest unfolding and bloodred just before the garden, dies.” But it’s got a cool groove – the duo manage to blend sounds beautifully.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain? (1970): Creedence Clearwater Revival, it seems, were using rain as a metaphor for the bombs raining down on Vietnam at the time. A chart topper, this emotive tracks showcases lead singer John Fogerty’s voice so very nicely indeed. And, come to think of it, have you ever seen it rain a sunny day?

The Rain Song (1973): Led Zeppelin's Rain Song lasts seven long minutes. The band slowly fine tunes the melancholy with orchestral arrangement. But of course guitarist Jimmy Page leads the way with his guitar. And by the time Robert Plant ends the song with “…upon us all, upon us all, a little rain must fall. It's just a little rain” our senses are so lulled that we readily agree.

The Rain (1997): When someone like Missy Elliot approaches rain, what do you think will happen? A lot of hip-hop swagger that beats the weather. The Rain features a sample of Ann Peebles' 1974 classic I can't Stand the Rain, but it’s mostly what she does to the song that stands out. Oh yeah. Bring on the rain.

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