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Rain On Your Wedding Day

04:13
Bill Sunkel
Bill & Rob Sunkel

Story

YOU CAN WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO OF THIS SONG AT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqDUy_M8qdc

DECODING “RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY”

When I wrote “Rain On Your Wedding Day” (at the suggestion of guitarist/composer/producer Tony Cultreri), my goal was to craft a song that would make someone actually want it to rain on her (or his) wedding day. 

First, I wanted the listener to open his or her mind, to reexamine traditional notions of good and bad.  “Realign your way of thinking.”  Simply stated, why is a sunny day good and a rainy one bad?  Don’t hide from the rain, embrace it:  “Put away that gray umbrella/Let it glisten on your skin.”  Next, I wanted to identify what a wedding is really about:  the commitment of two people to spend their lives together and to love one another, through good times as well as times that are not so great (“Love’s not only for the sun”).  I also wanted to present water as a symbol of fertility and nourishment, via the image of the wedding flowers:  “Cool, cool water for the drinking/Everything will bloom as one.” 

While I wanted the listener to recalibrate, however, I didn’t want to be unsympathetic to the bride who (it’s only natural) feels her special day has been ruined:  “How could it [the world] treat me this way?”  So, I wanted to acknowledge that emotion briefly, though it’s not a “poor, poor pitiful me” song by any means.

The lines “There’s so much love in the world/That the sky can’t contain it” were inspired by the blues song, “The Sky Is Crying.”  I thought of tears shed by wedding guests, not because they’re sad, but because they’re overwhelmed by emotion.  And I wanted to project that emotion onto the universe, to tell the bride and groom, “Your love, and the love your family and friends share for you today, is such a powerful and overwhelming force of nature that even the sky is crying.”

The next piece I wrote was the bridge, where the repeating closed-circuit cluster of thick, ominous grey chords – meant to connote atmospheric heaviness throughout the verse and chorus – surrenders to more open, brighter, shimmering pastels of major ninth chords.  Anyone whose parade has ever been rained on knows that often, at the end of a drenched day, the sun will appear, accompanied by a brilliant rainbow.  Here, I envisioned a bride and groom walking out to a garden at the end of their day, dancing barefoot in the wet grass:  “Let’s go dancing in the garden/Watch the sunset rainbow fall.”  That image was so real in my mind that I could smell the freshness of the air after a soaking rain.  And I thought, not only are the glistening garden, the cool clean air and the glorious rainbow perfect expressions of new beginnings and the journey ahead, they also reflect what (one would hope) every couple feels on their wedding day, that elated sense that everything around them tastes and feels and smells better than it did yesterday:  “Has the air ever smelled so sweet before?”

Having collected all these ethereal, universal and romantic images, I became worried that the lyric might be too sentimental and saccharine.  And so my imagination turned to the sensuality and sexiness of getting soaked to the skin (“Let it glisten on your skin”), which led to the “flashback” story in the second verse about lovers caught in the rain, seeking shelter and finding solace in one another:  “Reminds me of that time last summer/When the dark clouds crowded in/We were caught inside the downpour/Took our shelter in a barn/Falling in love while thunder rumbled above/Finding comfort from the storm.”  (Originally, the line was “Making love while thunder rumbled above,” but there were some expressions of concern about the song actually being played at weddings, and maiden Aunt Pittypat fainting at the notion of such premarital shenanigans, and so the G-rated version was adopted.  Seriously.)  Anyway, I felt that those lines would give the song just the slightest bit of edge needed to cut the sweetness, and to complete the story of what a wedding is all about. 

And that’s the story behind “Rain On Your Wedding Day.”  I hope that, should it rain on your wedding day, you will welcome and embrace it as the great symbolic expression of love, emotion, nourishment, fertility, sensuality and sexiness it is. 

FYI, you can watch Bill Smith’s lovely video of this song, complete with Pittypat bawling in the front row, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqDUy_M8qdc.

Lyrics

RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
 
Realign your way of thinking
Love’s not only for the sun
Cool cool water for the drinking
Everything will bloom as one
 
Rain on your wedding day
Why won’t it go away?
How could it treat you this way?
 
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain it
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain . . .
 
Put away that gray umbrella
Let it glisten on your skin
Reminds me of that time last summer
When the dark clouds crowded in
We were caught inside the downpour
Took our shelter in a barn
Falling in love while thunder rumbled above
Finding comfort in the storm
 
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain it
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain . . .
 
Let’s go dancing in the garden
Watch the sunset rainbow fall
Has the air ever smelled this sweet before?
 
Rain on your wedding day
Why won’t it go away
How could it treat you this way?
 
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain it
There’s so much love in the world
That the sky can’t contain . . .