RAIN OR SHINE
“Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it” – an enduring cliché for sure. But is it entirely true? Not if we consider the fact that songwriters have long appropriated weather conditions and incorporated them into their lyrics. Who doesn’t remember “Blowing in the Wind”, “Raindrops Keep Falling on my head”, or “We’re having a Heat Wave”, or such standards as “April Showers”, “Over the Rainbow”, or “Wait till the Sun Shines Nelly”?
But, weather conditions mostly have been employed to explore matters of the heart. They offer us an emotional canvas that proclaims and celebrates Romance. Love, as we know, is a heady mix of longing, uncertainty and ecstasy. All these feelings have been expressed in words and music that have become part of America’s mainstream songbook.
The weather can be a barrier to romance:
“But I ain’t up to my baby tonight,
‘Cause it’s too darn hot.”
On the other hand it can serve to keep a couple romantically inclined, from parting because: “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
Then again a relationship that’s become strained may be likened to stormy weather:
“Stormy weather, since my man and I ain’t together,
keeps raining all the time.”
Still, there’s always the prospect of reconciliation:
“There is a change in the weather,
there’s gonna be a change in me.”
But by far song lyrics have invoked the weather to illustrate the exhilaration that love imparts. Gene Kelly, amidst a downpour, lets us know:
“I’m singing in the rain;
the sun’s in my heart. I’m ready for love.”
And we also learn that overcast conditions cannot dampen feelings of affection:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.”
Neither does fog:
“A foggy day in London town,
for suddenly I saw you there,
and through foggy London town
the sun was shining everywhere.”
“So long as you love me so,
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Take note that where there’s love there’s always sunshine as the Beatles reminded us:
“Good day Sunshine,
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.
As did Stevie Wonder:
“You are the sunshine of my life.
Forever you’ll stay in my heart.”
But when love fades, the weather turns:
“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone;
It’s not warm when she’s away.”
Remember, though, when you’re in love the weather may, in the end, may make little difference:
“Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t care if it’s cloudy or bright.
For I only have eyes for you.”