In the middle of a drought, a little rainfall is a welcome and wonderful sight. To encourage the continued rainfall, perhaps listening to these six rain themed songs will work as a rain chant of sorts to bring more much needed water to low reservoirs and quench the dry fields and landscapes.
Recorded by B.J.Thomas, and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the soundtrack of the 1969 Movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. A separate version recorded for radio made it to the top of the charts in Europe as well as in The United States.
The classic, long-lived and loved folk trio of Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the most commercially successful version of Gordon Lightfoot’s poignant song, Early Morning Rain, a song about a down and out man longing to be home with loved ones again. Lightfoot wrote the song in 1964 and recorded it for his debut Album Lightfoot! in 1966. Neither were the first recorded versions of the song. The first was released by the Canadian duo Ian and Sylvia who were husband and wife.
The third released single from the Eurythmics 1984 album Touch, the song Here Comes the Rain Again was a wishful plea for all the closeness of a love. The recording was sung and performed in a style that was reminiscent of a persistent driving rain and obsessive thought.
Originally recorded in 1962 by The Cascades, Rhythm of the Rain was written by a member of band, John Claude Gummoe. The early ’60s version made it to number 3 in the United States pop charts in 1963 and to the top 3 in the U.K. Later versions which were recorded by other artists included Jan and Dean in 1963, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1969. A medley version of the song recorded by Dan Fogelberg combined The Beatles song Rain with Rhythm of the Rain and made it to the third spot on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart in 1990.
A beautiful song that speaks to finding inner strength in the middle of dark times, Bring on the Rain was recorded by country music artist Jo Dee Messina. The heart tugging song written by Helen Darling and Billy Montana was released on Messina’s album Burn in 2001. It received nominations in both the Country Music Awards and The Grammy Awards.
No rain song list would be complete without including the iconic movie classic Singin’ in the Rain performed by the multi-talented Gene Kelly in the movie of the same name. The lighthearted and happy song has remained a favorite for decades. It was written in the 1920s by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed(of later MGM musical fame), and released in the 1920s, long before the classic musical movie with Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds in 1952. How many of us have attempted to perform our own versions of the song while picturing Gene Kelly splashing joyfully through the rain with no cares to burden his happy spirit?
It seems fitting that rain has been the direct or symbolic subject of many songs in different recording genres across the board. Water, seen as a symbol of life, and rain of contemplation, sorrow and spiritual cleansing, a new beginning, or freedom, is a perfect vehicle for lyrical and instrumental expression in music. Bring on the rain!