When your heart pounds when every raindrop falls on your body, and your soul dances to the melodies of trees swinging around, you have certain series of words in your head to translate your excitement and joy into the language of words, sung by legends, imprinted on the minds of thousands. Every individual has a separate space, across his mind, to sing and swim through the waves of albums, placed on the shelves of music studios, around the world. Some of them had the magic of this season – Monsoon, inserted in the pieces of their melodies, made initially for this. Some were sad while others were in the happy tones of their emotions, but all had one thing in common – rain! Let’s explore some of the best ones, in the world of International Music that made our monsoons more impressionistic and lively.
1. Rainy night in Georgia – Brook Benton
The melodious production and Brook Benton’s soulful singing talks about a man standing all alone with no place to go in the rain. A dark night when lanterns lose their magic on the trail to find your loved ones, these tones sewed up on the melancholy thread of symphony to calm your spirit, struggling with the headboard, to move ahead of time and realize your surroundings; before it is too late. A mingle and combinations of the harmony of all the instruments like guitar, harmonica, etc. gives a pleasure to us, while listening to this song – an ode to loneliness and fatalism.
- This song hit #1 on the R&B charts and stayed there for a week.
- Tony Joe who wrote the song said he worked in Georgia driving a truck for the highway, & every time it rained he got to stay home and play the guitar. While returning from Georgia he heard “Ode to Billy Joel”, he said “And if I ever decided to write a song, I’d write something real and something that I knew about. I knew about rainy nights, and within about two weeks the song was laid down.”
- This song was #498 on Rolling Stones magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. This song has been covered by Ray Charles, Hank Williams Jr. & Tennessee Ernie Ford.
2. Raindrops keep falling on my head – BJ Thomas
One of the biggest hit of 1969, clearly Billy Jones is putting smiles on people’s faces and doesn’t care if the rain is pouring, because apparently, he is not a cry baby and he is not going to care about the raindrops. Happiness is going to knock their doors soon, and his freedom could never be barricaded with this rainfall. The raspy quality of Billy Joe Thomas’s voice gave this song depth, while the
rhythm kept the upbeat tempo & the horn solo at the end and in the chorus providing the richness is just the happy climax one wishes for.
- Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this song for the film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
- Burt asked Thomas to sing the main theme: “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” What he didn’t tell Thomas was that the song had already been turned down by Bob Dylan and Ray Stevens.
- Thomas was getting over laryngitis when he recorded this. It gave the song a raspy quality.
- This won the Oscar for Best Song From A Motion Picture at the 1970 awards, where Thomas performed it. Bacharach also won for Best Score.
3. Fire and Rain – James Taylor
These words take us back to our past, our fear to lose people in our life and burning the desire of seeing them again. This song is carrying those emotions through every phase of his life, where he was hoping those happy days to go for long but couldn’t last for days and when he realizes that he cannot see his loved one, again – heartbreaking soul screams out of the pane of her reflection – he has seen everything. The major rhythm of guitar does the magic, along with the plucking patterns, joining notes to notes. This song is about the high and low points of Taylor’s life. He was only 20 when he wrote it in 1968, but was battling depression and drug addiction.
This was the song that took Taylor from little-known troubadour to star of the ’70s singer-songwriter movement.
- In his interview with Petticoat Taylor said that he stole the chord sequence from something his brother Alexander wrote.
- The friend mentioned in the song was Susie Schnerr, Taylor also explained that it was months before he found out about her death, as his friends withheld the news so it wouldn’t distract Taylor from his burgeoning music career.
- One of the biggest songs of 1970’s written in 3 parts by James Taylor. Recording his friend’s demise, his time in Manhattan Hospital & his recuperation in Rehab.
4. Have you ever seen the rain? – Creedence Clearwater revival
A beautifully sung & produced song, it is John Fogerty’s take on the departure of his brother Tom from the band, and the overall tension in the group at a time when they should have been enjoying their success. Line in the songs chorus “have you ever seen rain fall down on a sunny day?” is a comparison to just that.
Success comes after putting in your efforts and when there’s an entire group representing their ideas and hard work, it is meant to be celebrated together. But apparently, the sun hid behind the branches of separation and sunny day didn’t appear to be warm, like it should have been. Knowing everything and loosing the ropes, this song takes you on the trip for realizations. His voice is the prominent feature of this song which cannot be ignored, as it’s been presented to us with the combination of all the instruments.
- The flip side of this single, “Hey Tonight,” is John reassuring the band that all would go well despite the adversity.
- Musically, this song was inspired by the group Booker T. & the MG’s,John Fogerty loved the sound of Booker T. Jones’ Hammond organ, so he used it on some tracks for the album, including this one.
5. Come rain or come shine – Ray Charles
There’s always two sides of every phase the lyrics of this song depicts the truth side of his love, and not having a desire for an answer to love him back for his uncompetent emotions. The melody that lights thousand hopes for love, that you haven’t achieved yet and a happy cry, that is yet to be heard. Coming from the background of blues, background vocals and melodies produced on the trumpet, brings his voice to the front end, to us. There’s also a magnificent duet of his voice and the trumpet, in the second part of the song, giving it a melodious end.
- This song was written in 1946 by Harold Arlen for musical St. Louis Woman.
- Ray Charles recorded it in 1959 and it hit the charts in 1960 & 1968.
- It has been recorded by some of the most prominent blues/ soul artists.
- Eric Clapton
- Frank Sinatra
- BB king
- John Mayer
- Bob Dylan
- James Brown
6. I wish it would rain down – Phil Collins
It is true that, importance of things are realized after they are gone, similar to the situational theme based song by Phil Collins. You are too late at times when it’s all blur, if you look back and one cannot tell if it was your fault or the other person’s. Apparently, it’s true, that you do not get an option to choose to say that you didn’t, after you have already injured someone’s vien; resulting into a huge pain. The words reflect the pain and the cry in these words and the music, calling out the names of the people it lose. A combination between his voice and the guitar played, gives an enormous wave of emotion, which carries us through the entire song.
- This song was a #1 in Canada for 6 weeks, among other foreign Countries, and had a popular guitar part played by Eric Clapton.
- In a BBS interview Collins said with his tongue very much in his cheek that this song, “is about a frustrated weatherman that regularly predicts rain showers but never gets it right.”
7. I wish it would rain – The Temptaions
Love hurts in the end and sometimes, scratch all the bits of your heart and drags them down to the never ending road; which you never tried to walk on and in the end, you have no choice left but to measure the distance between the pain and healing spot. His woman left and to stay strong and not seen by anyone, crying, he wishes these raindrops to pour over this world and on him to hide his sorrows under the blanket of his lids. With this catchy beats and piano riff, along with background vocals, construction of his voice towards the theme of this song has been hugely appreciated.
- Producer Norman Whitfield devised much of the musical structure of the song, with former Motown artist Barrett Strong composing the song’s signature piano intro on piano with only ten working keys.
- The lyricist Roger Penzabene had just learnt that his wife was cheating on him and in his sorrow and pain, Penzabene penned both this and its follow-up “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You).” Tragically the distraught Penzabene committed suicide barely a week after the single’s release.
- Peaked for three weeks in February and March 1968 at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and at the number-one position on the Billboard R&B singles chart.
- Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin & Little Caesar have also recorded versions of the song.
8. Umbrella – Rihanna
Some are fond of each other to an extent that they stay on the same spot in their journey, even if the other ones walk in front with illusionistic walls around him. One can feel pain in her voice of her letting her guy go but she is assuring him at the same time, that she will stay at the same spot for him if he turns around. By umbrella, she means that it is her way of protecting him, which is not temporary and will stay around them for long. This catchy song was famous because of one word chorus, that became one of the best pop creations of the noughties.
- Chris Brown, when he and Rihanna were still a couple, recorded his own version of this song, changing the chorus from “You can stand under my umbrella” to “You can be my Cinderella.”
- Following the success of this song, Rihanna launched a line of umbrellas through the Totes company.
- At the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, this won for Video of the Year. This entered the UK chart at #1, then spent 10 weeks at the top. In its 11th week it tumbled to #3, thus breaking a record that had stood for nearly 55 years.
- In addition, it overtook the 9 week run at the top of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” to become the longest running #1 of the 21st century in the UK, England, was pounded by rain during the summer of 2007 when this song was a huge hit.
- The London newspaper The Sun suggested that “Umbrella” might be the cause, as club goers could have been doing an unintentional rain dance when it played. They suggested a ban on Rihanna and an effort to download songs like “In the Summertime.”