personal note: I saw Annie Lennox sing this live, while it was raining.
BJ Thomas: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head (I saw BJ Thomas sing this, but it was not raining.)
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Have You Ever Seen the Rain and Who’ll Stop the Rain (thanks Leah)
Rihanna: The Umbrella Song Not really my musical preference, but it’s definitely a rain song.
The Beatles: Rain (with some sunshine, too)
Clint Black: Like the Rain
Tom Waits: More than Rain
Carpenters: Rainy Days and Mondays (wish I had vid. for the Cracker remake)
There’s a million more. Purple Rain, I’m Only Happy When it Rains. Rain seems to be a good topic for music. Snow doesn’t seem to have as wide a reach. Lots of sunshine songs though. If I ever see the sun for 12 hours straight again, maybe I’ll post those next.
I was trying to do music on Fridays, but my whole blog schedule has been thrown off lately, so I’m posting this anyway.
I like Derek Webb for his singing style and his heart. That he covers great artists like Dylan and Elvis Costello is also part of his gift. It’s amazing to me that in this song he makes the Nick Lowe song, (What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding? which Elvis Costello turned into a hit – sound like a Derek Webb song.
I can never make clear how much music means to me spiritually. The great hymnbook of Psalms stands as a 2500 year old testament to the fact that the Judeo-Christian faith has always been tied to music. One of the songs stuck in my head this week is something I learned in choir. It’s a Rich Mullins chorus known as Step by Step, and it’s part of his song Sometimes by Step. The chorus is:
Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You I will seek You in the morning And I will learn to walk in Your ways And step by step You’ll lead me And I will follow You all of my days
What I didn’t know is that it’s likely that when the choir sang this, Mullins was dead. You can read more about him on his Wikipedia entry. He died in a car wreck at the age of 41. He intentionally lived a life of economic poverty. He was an inspiration to Caedmon’s Call. He was a fine player of the hammered dulcimer.
I know very little about contemporary Christian music. I find a lot of it to be spiritual candy, tasty but not very nourishing. It appears that Mullins was nourished and through him, the spirit can provide fulfillment. The video below is of another of his songs, based on the Apostle’s Creed. It is worth watching all the way to the end.
In his book Slam, Nick Hornby mentions the singer Rufus Wainwright. I hadn’t heard of Wainwright, but when I looked him up, I found that I had heard him, oddly enough, in the soundtrack to Shrek. However, the song Wainwright sings on the Shrek soundtrack is a song by Leonard Cohen. It’s “Hallelujah” and has been performed by dozens of musicians (including a rather dreadful version by Bono). This song has something of religion in it. It mentions David, refers to Samson and of course the chorus is Hallelujah.
Cohen wrote a lot of verses to this song. Artists pick and choose. Some leave out the David passage, but it’s beautiful poetry:
Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this The fourth, the fifth The minor fall, the major lift The baffled king composing Hallelujah.