Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What have they done to the rain?

It’s been raining gently but steadily since the early hours of the morning; I went for a nap this afternoon, and woke up with this heartbreaking song, which I haven’t sung, or even heard really, for many years, going through my head. Now it’s become a full-grown earworm I thought I’d pass it on. Malvina Reynolds wrote it, but the version I remember, of course, was Joan Baez’, which changes a couple of words here and there:

What have they done to the rain?

Just a little rain falling all around,
The grass lifts its head to the heavenly sound,
Just a little rain, just a little rain,
What have they done to the rain?

Just a little boy standing in the rain,
The gentle rain that falls for years.
And the grass is gone,
The boy disappears,
And rain keeps falling like helpless tears,
And what have they done to the rain?

Just a little breeze out of the sky,
The leaves pat their hands as the breeze blows by,
Just a little breeze with some smoke in its eye,
What have they done to the rain?

Just a little boy standing in the rain,
The gentle rain that falls for years.
And the grass is gone,
The boy disappears,
And rain keeps falling like helpless tears,
And what have they done to the rain?

Malvina Reynolds

4 comments:

  1. This brings back so many memories. The song originally was an anti-nuclear protest. Fallout from nuclear explosions was carried to the earth with the rain. There was concern about strontium-90 in cow's milk. It certainly can be applied to environmental issues these days.

    I have a couple of old Baez albums. Her voice is luminous.

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  2. I have never heard this song before. Thanks for sharing it!

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  3. Yes, Barbara, we used to sing it at anti-nuclear protests back when I was a lad!

    Agreed about Baez - 'Farewell Angelina' is still one of my favourite albums, with the wonderful Bruce Langhorne on electric guitar. And she can still do it, in her late 60s now. Last year's 'Day After Tomorrow' is stunning!

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  4. Veritas, I'm so glad to have introduced you to the song. Totally haunting, isn't it?

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