A Soundtrack for April Showers: 6 Songs About Rain

April is here, and while dreary, wet days soak solar eclipse viewings, sporting events, and weddings, here’s a list of rainy songs for April showers.

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In Weezer’s “All My Favorite Songs,” Rivers Cuomo describes how his favorite songs are slow and sad. Somehow, the sad songs make us feel better. So, if you are down about the rain or tired of lugging the umbrella to work, let these songs wash over you and embrace the soggy meditations.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as this list ends with a banger from a legend.

“Here Comes the Rain Again” by Eurythmics

Dave Stewart uses brooding synths and drum machines for a rainy musical landscape, while Annie Lennox sings of cascading emotions and overwhelming melancholia. When the song modulates, it feels like a brief moment when the sun appears, though Stewart quickly returns to the minor key for Lennox’s despairing solitude. The approaching bad weather is a metaphor for looming depression.

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion

“Rain” by The Beatles

The Beatles experimented during the Revolver sessions, and though “Rain” didn’t make the album, it shows how the band expanded the recording studio’s capabilities. This 1966 B-side to “Paperback Writer” is a dreamy psychedelic track with some of drummer Ringo Starr’s most inventive playing. Engineer Geoff Emerick pushed the instrumentation into distortion while Paul McCartney’s moving bass sloshes around George Harrison’s chiming guitar. Meanwhile, John Lennon sings like his head’s in the stormy clouds.

If the rain comes
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes
If the rain comes

“Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” by Travis

Travis is often disparagingly lumped into the post-Britpop single-word bands with Coldplay and Keane. However, Paul McCartney is a fan of Fran Healy’s songwriting, and for good reason. The Glasgow band’s 1999 album The Man Who is a brilliant collection of folk-rock songs that threads The Beatles, Radiohead, and The Connells into a concise 10-song album. “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” is a defining song for Travis and the perfect song for a rainy day, feeling down in the dumps, or both.

Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining, I can’t avoid the lightning

“Rainy Days and Mondays” by the Carpenters

Paul Williams wrote the lyrics to this lonesome 1971 hit. Though Karen Carpenter was only 20 when she recorded the song, her warm voice sounded timeless and wise. The gloomy song opens the Carpenters’ third album, while a forlorn harmonica buoys Carpenter’s despairing reflection.

What I’ve got, they used to call the blues
Nothing is really wrong
Feeling like I don’t belong
Walking around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

“Rainy Day Woman” by Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings has a woman who’s never happy. Though her glass is always half-empty, Jennings finds comfort in her company. “Rain Day Woman” appeared on Jennings’ 1974 album The Ramblin’ Man and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Jennings’ pessimistic companion may wallow in her own depression, but she’s reliably there for him.

That woman of mine, she ain’t happy
Till she finds something wrong and someone to blame
If it ain’t one thing, it’s another one on the way
Woke up this mornin’ to the sunshine
It sure as hell looks just like rain
I know where to go on a cloudy day

“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliott

This list concludes with “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” to celebrate Missy Elliott’s first-ever headlining tour announcement. But it’s also a two-for-one as Elliott samples another rainy classic, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” the 1973 hit by Ann Peebles. After you’ve listened to both Elliott and Peebles sing about the rain, don’t forget about Tina Turner’s legendary cover of the original song. Elliott’s 1997 debut single introduced the ’70s Memphis soul-weather lament to a new generation.  

When the rain hits my window
I take and — me some Indo
Me and Timbaland, ooh, we sang a jangle
We so tight that you get our styles tangled
Sway on dosie-do like you loco
“Can we get kinky tonight?” Like Coko, so-so
You don’t wanna play with my Yo-Yo
I smoke my hydro on the D-low
I can’t stand the rain
Against my window

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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS

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