366 Songs 097: Rain

For the longest time, I didn’t own “Rain” (It’s not on any of the “real” albums, just the Past Masters compilation, because it was a b-side), but it’s long been one of my favorite Beatles songs for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on; I’ve often said that I love it for its cultural importance, which is true – It’s apparently the first pop song to have an explicitly “them vs. us” setting – but the truth is, even before I thought about it in those terms, I was smitten. There’s something about the loping quality to the sound, the tight snare that starts the song before it melts into something more amorphous, the harmonies and the way that the harmonized lyrics get stretched so far that they seem as if they’re just sounds rather than words (“Rain” becomes “Rai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ain,” for example)… plus, of course, that bassline (I suspect that Paul McCartney’s basslines on John Lennon’s latter, LSD-inspired songs are a strong draw for me; see “Hey Bulldog” for proof).

There was one summer, back when I was a student and given to walking 45 minutes into town on good weather days, that I was wandering along with this song in my head and, as my internal jukebox got to the chorus, a car drove past with it blaring out of the windows at exactly the same point as it’d been playing in my head. It was a strange coincidence, and a sign, I was convinced; an omen that good things were about to happen in some way.

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