As a born-and-bred Seattleite, I like to consider myself an expert on rain — a connoisseur, even. I grew up playing soccer for hours in downpours, coming home with soccer cleats full of water. During my daily walk to school, I used my umbrella as a shield against the cars that whizzed by through feet-deep puddles. It wasn’t all bad, though. On days of especially heavy rain, we had “rainy day recess” indoors. This meant swapping sopping wet miserable-ness for a dry and warm classroom; tetherball for board games; tag for craft stations.
When I moved to San Francisco after high school, I naïvely assumed the weather wouldn’t be much different. I was wrong, of course. Although I loved being able to swim at Crissy Field and frolic around the streets at night, I was surprised to find myself missing the Seattle dreariness. Two months into my time there, it rained for the first time, right as I was finishing a 20-mile run along the waterfront. It was the longest I’d ever run, and my final long run before attempting a solo marathon. I wrote in a Strava post at the time that the rain “feels like a sign that I can make it.”
Since then, rain has become something of a good luck charm for me. It was only once I was away from the rain that I truly came to appreciate it.
Now that I’m in Claremont, it is something to celebrate when a cloud leaks for a split second. So you can imagine the pure euphoria rushing through me when, this past week, we got two whole days of pelting rain. To commemorate this monumental event, here are some of the best songs written about rain, in my extremely humble opinion.
To listen along to the playlist as you read, click here.
“Begging for Rain” — Maggie Rogers
Like the obnoxious signs at Scripps say, the drought struggle is real. You can find me, like Rogers, begging for rain any given day of the week — for the environment’s sake as well as mine.
“Have You Ever Seen The Rain” — Creedence Clearwater Revival
The day before the rain hit Claremont, it was a clear sunny day. Or the “calm before the storm,” as CCR would say.
“It Never Rains in Southern California” — Albert Hammond
This song has quickly become a regular in my rotation, due to its versatility on both sunny and rainy days. It all depends on whether you play it literally or ironically.
“Rainy Days and Mondays” — Carpenters
I didn’t know this song existed until recently, but I sure do love the way Karen Carpenter’s voice floats alongside the harmonica. Consider this song a chance to let out all your melancholy feelings.
“Dancing in the Rain” — Taylor Bennett, Donnie Trumpet, Brandon Fox, Shay Lewis
Once you’re finished dreading the rain, I recommend forcing yourself to go out and dance in it. This jazzy collaboration provides the perfect soundtrack. As Bennett says, “in the rain, ain’t no pain.”
“Raingurl” — Yaeji
The best song for walking to class. Strut to the electronic beat and try not to think about your laptop getting more and more waterlogged with every step.
“Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande) – Arca Remix” — Lady Gaga
The original song is amazing as-is, but this Arca remix really takes it to the next level. Often I find it takes a little experimental electro-pop to fully unleash my primal self in the rain.
“Green Rain” — Mvzonik
This song samples the mysterious 1977 funk song “If I Lost Your Love” by Johnny Andrews and The Enjoyments. Not much is known about either the original song or artist, and it wasn’t even on Spotify until after Mvzonik’s rework. The rework chops up the original’s lyrics in an incredibly catchy way. It sounds how skipping through dewy grass on a misty morning feels.
“Shelter from the Storm” — Bob Dylan
I would probably be accosted by my mom or uncle if I didn’t include this song. That being said, I do have to admit it is genuinely a great song, especially lyrically — “beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine” is a standout. It’s also great for hiding indoors as the raindrops slide down the window, after your outside escapade.
“The Rain” — Rejjie Snow, Cam O’bi, Krondon
Another great song to listen to as you dry off. Cam O’bi shines with his warm, steady flow that feels like changing into a pair of pajamas and sitting on a heater.
“I Think I Like When It Rains” — WILLIS
I hope that at this point in the playlist, I have convinced even the most stubborn Californians to see the bright side of dark, rainy days. For WILLIS, it’s the nostalgia and comfort rain brings.
“After The Storm (feat. Tyler, The Creator & Bootsy Collins)” — Kali Uchis
A reminder to stay hopeful for the future, it’s only fitting that this was one of my top songs of 2020. As Uchis points out, after the storm — whether you see that as being positive or negative — is “when the flowers bloom” and “the sun’ll come out.”
Hannah Weaver SC ’24 is a music columnist for TSL. She is excited to return home to the rain over Thanksgiving break.