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April Showers

Katy Krassner

April 28, 2021

Rain. Whether you’re a fan or not, water from the sky is frequently used in film and music to depict sadness, discontent, renewal or even (ahem) sex. Cinematically, there are a few unforgettable films that utilize rain to drive home a feeling. “The Shawshank Redemption” uses rain as a metaphor for rejuvenation as Tim Robbins’ character finally escapes from jail. “The Notebook” made use of rain for one of the most romantic scenes in recent movie history. Ryan Gosling got to get down in the rain again in “Crazy, Stupid Love” with Emma Stone. “Jurassic Park” utilized rain for a frightening and foreboding scene where the children see the Tyrannosaurus Rex for the first time. Rain is used to highlight violence in the battle scene from “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and the wicked fight scene at the end of “Blade Runner” would never have been the same without the rain. The Jim Carrey movie “The Truman Show” literally used rain to show his sadness. And of course, you absolutely cannot leave out “Singing in the Rain,” wherein Gene Kelly becomes a visual metaphor for ‘turning your frown upside down.’

For many songwriters, rain is an oft used metaphor. People tend not to like rainy days, so some lyricists use it to express feeling blue (“Rainy Days and Mondays”), or use it to show how everything sucks (“Make it Rain”). Rain can also represent a loss, or despair, so a song can use that to illustrate the emotion (“Here Comes the Rain Again” and “Set Fire to the Rain”). Others can see rain as a “washing away,” or a re-birth, of sorts, where the rain allows you to put something hurtful behind you and move forward toward better days (“I Love a Rainy Night” and “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”). Sometimes rain can be romantic, especially when you’re with someone who doesn’t mind rolling around in the rain with you (“Something Sexy About the Rain,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Rain in the Summertime”)!

Rain as a metaphor never gets old and can represent so many things. You can use rain to illustrate affection, frustration, fury, conflict, panic, retribution, sorrow and more. So many musical tastemakers look for symbolic ways to illustrate feelings in movies/commercials/tv shows, who knows what you will uncover in the stormy (see what we did again?!) corners of your heart…

If April showers bring May flowers – and really, who doesn’t love a patch of pretty flowers – then maybe writing songs about rain is bound to bring some success. Here are some that spring (see what we did there??) to mind:

“November Rain” – Guns n’ Roses

“Umbrella” – Rihanna

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Bob Dylan

 “I Love a Rainy Night” – Eddie Rabbit

“Laughter in the Rain” – Neil Sedaka

“Raindrops keep Falling on my Head” – BJ Thomas

“Here Comes the Rain Again” – Eurythmics

“Something Sexy About the Rain” – Kenny Chesney

“Rain in the Summertime” – The Alarm

“Red Rain” – Peter Gabriel

“Only Happy When it Rains” – Garbage

“Hold Back the Rain” – Duran Duran

“Set Fire to the Rain” – Adele

“The Rain Song” – Led Zeppelin

“Who’ll Stop the Rain” – CCR

“Come Rain or Come Shine” – Ray Charles

“Rainy Days and Mondays” – Carpenters

“Make it Rain” – Ed Sheeran

“Blame it on the Rain” – Milli Vanilli

“Fire & Rain” – James Taylor

“Box of Rain” – Grateful Dead

“Purple Rain” – Prince

“Set Fire to the Rain” – Adele

“Rain Over Me” – Pitbull, Marc Anthony

 “No Rain” – Blind Melon

“I Can’t Stand the Rain” – Ann Peebles

 

And no rain list would ever be complete without:

 

“It’s Raining Men” – The Weather Girls  

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