When the Rain has Gone
Sometimes things come together in a blur. One minute you’re in your dressing gown, drinking tea and watching some pap or other, and the next you’re listening back to a song that happened so quickly you can’t quite remember what happened. This is one such song. It’s dead short, and I’m sure you can spare 2m 15s to listen to it and – if it’s your bag – have a read of the lyrics and I’ll tell you all about it.
You were seeking shelter as the skies grew dark
So come in here beside me, unclothe the darkness in your heart
The rain is searching windows, looking for our souls
Tell me that I matter to you – no else need know
But will you still be here with me when the rain has gone?
Cling to me, sleep deeply, tangled in my legs
Your hair like wild strawberries, unfurled across my chest
The storm outside will pass soon, uncovering the moon
And she in turn will vanish in the white heat of the noon
But will you still be here with me when the morning comes?
And will you still be here with me after the rain has gone?
So. As best as I can remember it. I’ve had the guitar sat in a slide tuning for a few days now. Nothing fancy – just an open E tuning (that’s E-B-E-G#-B-E as opposed to E-A-D-G-B-E) because I’ve been fannying around with a slide, as I sometimes do. I’m not a great slide player by any means, but one thing I like about this tuning is that it opens unexpected chord voicings with a really nice chiming quality.
While fiddling around, I hit on the melodic motif – a sort of descending pattern over the open strummed natural E chord. A very folky feel that instantly seemed very natural.
A quick diversion to a version of A – with a couple of suspensions/discords in it and a voicing of B in the ‘chorus’ (which is really more of a refrain) and the music was more or less done there and then.
I put the mic good and close to the guitar and laid down the backing without any click tracks or nonsense like that (hence the quiet count-in). Because of the open strings, you would be forgiven for thinking there were two guitars, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.
And then the vocal. There’s nothing much to the melody – it’s very plain and just sits very naturally with the chords. Because of the mild ‘drone’ effect of the open E strings that ring throughout it’s not very harmonically rich. Arguably you could harmonise it, I suppose, but I was after that very raw, early Dylan style: just a voice, some words and a guitar.
Lyrically, there is also a little touch of Dylan about it I suppose. He’s done a number of these very simple, intimate songs and that’s exactly what this is. Intimate. The words are all about the closeness of two people, in the dark, listening to the rain and talking – with a slight fear in the song’s protagonist that the other person might only be with him for momentary protection… hence the question in the line “will you still be here with me after the rain?”
I guess it’s kind of vulnerable. And, being a man, I don’t want to talk about that any more.
I bid you good day.