I know, I know, it’s hardly winter out here in Cal-i-forn-i-a, but it is…kinda. San Francisco gets chilly, windy, foggy and rainy. It is one of those days that the wind and rain just can’t drive off the fog, and it settles down this low laying part of town like a fallen silk stocking or a wet piece of gauze, smothering any happiness out of the day, and sending the town into a 1950s hard-boiled private-eye detective film noir kinda haze. In an effort to cheer myself up, I thought I might try and put together a top five rainy day songs. I’d be interested in hearing your list, if you have the time.
At number 5, we have Dylan and his Rainy Day Women no’s 12 and 35. Everyone needs a bit of a boozy, stoney party song on a rainy day, and Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde opener fits the bill. OK, so not quite sure how it is rain themed, bar the title, but it is worth putting in here, I think
At number 4, Rainy Night House, by Joni Mitchell, from her 1972 album, for the roses. She infamously wrote this for Leonard Cohen. The Malka Marom book, Joni Mitchell In Her Own Words, (https://www.amazon.com/Joni-Mitchell-Her-Own-Words/dp/1770411321) is a generally good read, and Joni opens up about this affair in a candid way that Joni is not prone to, outside of her songs, that is. The mental picture of Cohen, suicidal as he appeared to be, sitting all night with his mother’s gun alone, is not a happy one. Poor Leonard….
At number three, Kate Bush, Cloudbusting dream of Organon, based around Peter Reich’s 1973 Book of Dreams, and Peter and his father’s attempts to build a rain-making machine. Anthemic, elegiac, with a driving beat and a refrain of “just saying it could even make it happen,” Cloudbusting is a song to lift the mood of a rainy day, even if it is trying to make more of the wet stuff fall from the clouds. Sometimes the earth needs a little rain.
OK, I am not a huge James Taylor fan, despite his acoustic guitar prowess, and his repetoire of lush folk songs, he is just a bit too tame for me, but I think I’d go with sweet baby James’ Fire and Rain, over the more obvious, Have you Ever Seen the Rain, by Creedence. I needed a bit of reminding of the summer fires that choked us over the summer, to stop cursing the rainy day outside. Here is Joni Mitchell’s other boyfriend, in his prime…sorry Joni…I love her really….
Drumroll! I couldn't not put this at number one. Yes, Mr Dylan's Hard Rain....Here is a rocking version from a coked up Rolling Thunder Review. I can't stop referencing Joni's ex's can I....and she didn't even get number one...