Rain and Romance
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
After the long dry spell has come the rain (although, we have been cautioned, the regular showers we are enjoying do not necessarily mean that the drought is over), bringing up memories of songs which include the weather, sometimes mislabelled as 'bad'.
Of course, it is not only Jamaican performers who have songs which include the falling of raindrops. Three of the many which come to mind are Crying in the Rain (Everly Brothers), Rainy Night in Georgia (Ray Charles) and A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan).
Of the three, thematically the Everly Brothers' track connects directly with Delroy Wilson's Rain From the Skies. Both are about a man concealing heartache by fusing his tears with an outpouring from above. The Everly Brothers sing:
"I'll never let you see
The way my broken heart is hurtin' me
I've got my pride and I know how to hide
All my sorrow and pain
I'll do my cryin' in the rain
If I wait for cloudy skies
You won't know the rain from the tears in my eyes."
The countries are different, but the utilisation of rain to mask cracks in the macho facade are the same, as Delroy Wilson tries to fool himself that it is not his tears that are rolling down his cheeks - even though we all know the truth:
"Ever since you went away
Every day, it's just a cloudy day
And I don't know if it's rain from the skies
Or tears from my eyes
Falling on my face
And rolling down my cheeks."
There are any number of songs about romance and rain. In Pitta Patta, Ernie Smith starts with the query, "Have you ever been inside/On a rainy rainy night/Holding your baby tight?/Well I have". And in the chorus Banana Man (who had this big song in the early 1990s), put the matter of rain romance a bit more plainly on the Real Rock rhythm:
'The wickedest time a when the
rain start fall
The girl dem start to bawl
Who nah sen telegram
Dem a make phone call
Say dem want de hamma fi tear
dung dem wall ..."
Taking it a step further as only she can (and get away with it), Lady Saw lays her needs - and abilities - on the table in It's Raining. The introduction is about her skills ("Dis ya one ya hard, hard! Anyway you want it baby, gymnastic, acrobatic, slide back boogie, any way you want it me have it"), before she sets the damp conditions for the encounter:
"It's raining my body's calling
I'm in need of my darling
Mi well want the fire under mi herring
Baby, come an bake mi pudding."
Romain Virgo also has a rain song in I Want to Go Home, the accompanying video featuring water running heavily down the window of an eatery he is in. He makes his lady's needs plain, singing:
"The rain is falling
My baby is all alone
Don't want to be alone
Want to go home."