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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

July 22, 2008

Song of the Week: A Better Rain

The monsoons have finally arrived here in Tucson. After a long, sun-parched summer, and with a trip to Oklahoma looming, I can think of no better song of the week, for this Tuesday in particular, than George Strait's A Better Rain.

Taken from the 2006 album It Just Comes Natural, the melody of the song mixes pensive and optimistic sounds to create a wistful tribute to life and change. What makes the sound unique, in a style specific to George Strait, is its simple use of the fiddle and acoustic guitar. Few instruments are more evocative of such melancholic emotions.

But what really makes the song special is its lyrics. All country lyrics tell a story. Yet, the story in this song happens to be especially true to life. Sung in the first person, it tells the story of a love gone wrong, and likens the end of the relationship to the dark, foreboding rains of a storm. The troubadour muses about life's complexities, and then concludes by wishing the woebegone lover 'a better rain' to wash away the grime of pain.

In response, the mood and music of the tune lifts as the singer encourages the lover to recall the good times- 'before the flood, once upon a time in love, a beautiful us.' The recollection becomes a prelude to the rainbow still to come.

As 2L year peaks over the horizon, the song reminds me how we are each indelibly shaped by our pasts. The music seems to embrace this point. In the song, as in love and life, we have little choice but to forge ahead. Change is inevitable. And so the lot falls on each of us to embrace the rain- to expect that the clouds will pass, and to anticipate the streams in the desert.

Few people go through life having never loved and lost. For those among the masses of people who have done both, the message of A Better Rain will strike a chord.

The photo at right of the Tucson monsoons appears courtesy of yours truly. Feel free to use as you would. A terrific user video of A Better Rain appears below. Lyrics follow after the jump. Enjoy!



A Better Rain
By George Strait

Baby, what do you say when love comes down on you
Rainin' the blues on you
Like it's never gonna end on you
And all your dreams like leaves in the gutter go floatin' by
No, baby, I don't know why all God's children cry
I'll miss your skin, as golden as your wheat-field hair
And where you go, I hope you find out there

A better rain
The kind that comes in off the coast and paints the sky
And lets you know that God's alive
A better rain
That'll wash me from your eyes so you can smile again
And be all right again
In a better rain

Someday is gonna find you in a sweeter place
Long after time has erased
All the words like razor blades
You'll remember you and me before the flood
Once upon a time in love, a beautiful us
I can see you on some stretch of sand
Spinin' round in circles barefoot dancin' in

A better rain
That'll leave behind a rainbow in the sky
Let you know that God's alive
A better rain
That'll wash me from your eyes so you can smile again
And be all right again
In a better rain

A better rain
That'll leave a rainbow in the sky
Lets you know that God's alive
In a better rain
A better rain
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Organic, free-range thought courtesy of your average, coffee-addicted, American Indian, academic. Program Manager @IGPatUA.


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