Rain songs are usually sad songs. Rain usually depicts sadness and tears, loss and depression. Life going down the drain.
Think 1971 and the Carpenters song ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’ – about feeling down: ‘What I’ve got, they used to call the blues / Nothin’ is really wrong, feeling’ like I don’t belong.’ In 1983, Annie Lennox and David Stewart of Eurythmics penned the song ‘Here Comes the Rain Again, with, as Stewart said, ‘a melancholy mood.’ Part of the lyrics are: ‘Here comes the rain again / Raining in my hand like a tragedy / Tearing me apart like a new emotion.’
There are a lot of rainy end-of-relationship songs. ‘Dreams’ written in 1977 by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac is a classic break up song: ‘thunder only happens when it’s raining.’
Or acid rain songs – i.e. environmentally bad rain. Bob Dylan wrote about it brilliantly in 1962 in ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.’ The lyrics are frightening: ‘I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests / I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans / I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard / And it’s a hard, it’s a hard / It’s a hard, it’s a hard / It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.’
When it rains
When it rains, you could try singing and dancing in it, like Gene Kelly in the 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain. Songwriters Freed Arthur and Brown Nacio Herb wrote: ‘Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face’ as Gene Kelly skips and tap-dances in the rain.
In 1969 for the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head’ but opted not to be defeated by the rain. They wrote ‘Crying’s not for me ’cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining / Because I’m free / Nothing’s worrying me.’ There is an acknowledgement that rain happens, let’s accept it, and deal with it. But how? They are going to do ‘some talking to the sun’ of course. The song represents optimism and hope. Even the melody of the song is upbeat.
You can hide the pain and tears when it rains. As Carole King and Howard Greenfield wrote in 1962, like Burt Bacharach, you’ll never see him complaining – or crying: ‘I may be a fool / But till then, darling, you’ll never see me complain / I’ll do my crying in the rain.’ Because he’s got his pride to consider, damn it!
Rihanna opened up her umbrella in 2007 in the song by Christopher ‘Tricky’ Stewart, Terius Nash, Thaddis Laphonia ‘Kuk’ Harrell, and Shawn Carter. With American rapper Jay-Z, Rihanna offers support and ‘in anticipation for precipitation’ she says to him: ‘You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.’
More recently, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande collaborated on the lyrics for ‘Rain on Me’ in 2020, winning MTV’s Song of the Year. The dance anthem – with references to drinking and depression tears – is ‘an emotional tribute to overcoming hardship and embracing imperfections.’ Lady Gaga said that the song was ‘carefully constructed to make us all feel empowered.’ The powerful lyrics include: ‘It’s coming down on me / Water like misery / It’s coming down on me / I’m ready, rain on me / I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive.’ They write of living their truth, ‘not keep it bottled in / So I don’t lose my mind.’ It’s probably the most truthful song about vulnerability, without fear or shame, that represents current times.
Benefits of rain
There are many benefits of rain for individuals as well as the planet.
In March 1964, two Australian researchers in the Mineral Chemistry division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), wrote the paper, ‘Nature of Argillaceous Odour’ in the Nature journal, in which they outlined the ‘warm, earthy’ fragrance when rain hits dry ground – the clean air and wet earth smell. Isabel Joy Bear and Richard G. Thomas named the fragrance petrichor. It is a molecule, called geosmin, released by the bacteria Streptomyces, which is now used to create commercial antibiotics. Drops of water hitting the ground cause geosmin to be released into the air. Humans are extremely sensitive to it. Perfumer Marina Barcenilla said in 2018 for BBC News, ‘there’s something very primitive and very primal about the smell. Even when you dilute it down to the parts per billion range, we [humans] can still detect it.’
There are other nice fragrances with the oncoming of rain. Professor Maribeth Stolzenburg of the University of Mississippi in North America says that thunderstorms create a ‘clean, sharp scent of ozone, caused by lightning and other electrical discharges in the atmosphere.’ She says, for BBC News in 2018, that ‘the thunderstorm, and especially the rain, will improve the air quality. Much of the dust, aerosols, and other particulates are rained out and the air clears.’
The smell of rain, through petrichor and other plant-released odours, and the smell of thunderstorms, all aid good health, just by taking deep breaths. Scientists think that the smell of rain refreshes and reinvigorates the mind. So, walking in the rain can improve the mood, and encourage creative thoughts. This makes walking in the rain beneficial, especially if you are facing uncertainty and lack of decision-making, because it induces clarity of thought.
PETRICHOR … “the pleasant distinctly earthy scent of the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather”
People do not have to be IN rain to get the benefits of it. Watching it, listening to it, smelling it, can all be beneficial.
Studies have found that simply looking at pictures, photographs, videos, films, documentaries, and clips of rain, and especially listening to gentle rain (directly or taped sounds), can emulate some of the benefits of real rain.
Too much rain may produce floods, mudslides, and natural disasters – and depressive feelings for some people. Some people feel isolated and restrictive in rain – or just downright damp and dank and musty.
Rain therapy and activities do not necessarily address core issues.
“I’ve always found the rain very calming.” – Venus Williams
“Sometimes, we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things, like the scent of rain, the taste of your favourite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes
DISCLAIMER: This website’s author does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician or psychologist, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, information provided here is not intended to replace readers’ existing or other medical, psychological, financial, or legal advice. The author’s intent is to offer general information to help readers in their quest for emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, guidance towards self-empowerment, and/or for entertainment purposes only. Rainy Day Healing and Martina Nicolls shall not be held accountable for any loss which may arise from any readers’ reliance and implementation of any information provided. For information on courses and personal consultations, see TERMS AND CONDITIONS.