1. Set Fire to The Rain – Adele
By a singer with a voice and maturity beyond her years, this ballad’s first verse lays out the element of a lover’s corruptive control in their “relationship”. The beginning lyrics are more elusive (“I let it fall, my heart, And as it fell you rose to claim it.”) But the conclusion of the primary verse more obviously reestablishes this: “And the games you play, You would always win, always win.” Alas, Adele takes back her freedom in the chorus: “But I set fire to the rain, Watched it pour as I touched your face, Well, it burned while I cried, ‘Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name!” In this case, rain serves as a metaphorical recipient to the loss of control in a relationship. Rain acts as the defense mechanism of release, the release of tension accumulated over past and present insecurities. Here, Adele hypothetically regains power with “fire” and utilizes it to blame her partner on the rainy storm that is their relationship. Yet, an emotional authority over Adele still exists as she keeps returning back to her love: “Even now when we’re already over, I can’t help myself from looking for you.”
2. Rusted From The Rain – Billy Talent
If the title “Rusted From The Rain” wasn’t any more self-explanatory, you could derive messages from the lyrics “Among the broken mirrors, I don’t look the same” and “I don’t feel any pain, I’m rusted from the rain.” Here, rain symbolizes the “wreckage stumbled through.” In other words, rain performs as a destructive force affecting the first party (which would be Billy Talent, at least speaking – or should I say, singing – on their behalf). The rain, representing the chaotic conflict in our lives, causes consistent pain and only makes all of us numb to it: “Go on… crush me like a flower, rusted from the rain.” Since the pain and/of rain is inevitable, we may as well surrender to it, all thereby making us feel more powerless: “Come on… strip me of my powers, beat me with your chains.” But while the pain of rain may flood our souls and sabotage our relationships, we know “the sun will shine again…well rusted from the rain.”
3. Umbrella – Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
While rain still reigns as a negative influence in most situations, Rihanna and Jay-Z turn it into a positive, making it a testament as to how they rise over any obstacle – rain or shine – as a team: “When the sun shines, we’ll shine together…Now that it’s raining more than ever, Know that we’ll still have each other, You can stand under my umbrella.” Their connection is stronger than any force: physical or emotional. “We fly higher than weather.” The rest of the lyrics only reiterate this point in other words…
4. Hurricane – Theory of a Deadman
Whether it be surviving the storms of a relationship and/or the downfall of fame (like in the video), Theory of a Deadman’s song “Hurricane” emanates the emotions and thoughts sprout from the aftermath of any literal or analogical hurricane – so to speak. The self-inflicted wounds, the situations we put ourselves in particularly, harbour any individual or relationship. A decision to enter a different career, fulfill a scandalous ambition…everything you ever wanted isn’t what it seems, and it turns out isn’t what you actually wanted at all. You actually had what you always wanted, and you end up losing it instead. “Cause I’m standing in the eye of the storm, And everything I’ve known is blowin’ away.” But, you know you did what you had to do to get what you thought you wanted. You resorted to any means of an end, no matter how drastic or dangerous, to follow your dreams. “I’m caught in a hurricane, I’m leaving here dead or alive, And I know that I’d be willing to feel the pain, If it got me to the other side.” Here, a hurricane is referred to as “this disaster (that) came and tore us apart” and the aspects of any hurricane become relevant: “Til the window of lies, The rain of cries and lightning strikes, And now we’re standing in the eye of the storm, And everything is gone, nothing remains (I’m blowing away).” Here, the rain (and hurricane) represents the sadness, the tears and heartache involved within the interaction of the self or two entities.
5. Rain On Me – Ashanti
Ironically enough, despite the similar message of this song, here rain transforms into this glorious saviour meant to inebriate or cleanse an individual. “Rain on me, Lord, won’t you take this pain from me. Baby, just rain on me…” Perhaps, rain is still existing as this stimulant of excruciating agony and conflict; and Ashanti (in this case) is asking for this pain, or the endpoint she is anticipating, to finally occur – for this rain to just be over and done with. Here, she focuses more on the pain she’s experiencing on the inside: “I’m lookin’ in the mirror, At this woman down and out, She’s internally dyin’, I know this was not what love’s about.” Here, rain could still be about the pain: “I’m so tired of the rain, in my life…”
6. Missing – Everything But The Girl
Here, rain is basically being compared to missing someone. “And I miss you (Like the deserts miss the rain).” In fact, the deserts need the rain, so in a way, this analogy captures how much you feel like you “need” someone when you miss them. On the other hand, deserts are deserts without the rain, so you could survive without someone on your own. This song seems to neglect that theory (“Could you be dead? You always were two steps ahead of ev’ryone…” and (“And I can almost hear you shout, down to me, Where I always used to be.”) It also recognizes the idea that you never really know someone. “We’d walk behind while you would run, I look up at your house.”
7. Rain – Madonna
In this song, rain is portrayed as a break from the thunder – as relief from the storm, an emotional type of shower. Here, Madonna serenades us: “Your love’s coming down like Rain, wash away my sorrow, take away my pain.” Rain, in other words, means love – love that could help mend a broken heart and lead to happiness. After describing the communication and feeling of what love’s like, Madonna belts out: “Rain is what this thunder brings, For the first time I can hear my heart sing.” Here, she’s waiting for rain. She knows rain is the love, the happy ending that comes after the pain of thunder. But, is rain also the pain that makes love more real? “I’d wait for all the dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky, You promised me when you said goodbye, That you’d return when the storm was done, And now I’ll wait for the light, I’ll wait for the sun, Till I feel your…rain.” This shows that pain in life and love is bound to happen, that if it’s true love and we can trust the person completely, we should be willing to sacrifice and exercise patience in perserving through any obstacle that life may present us – in sickness and health. You’re always there for them, as you would know they would be there for you. You know their rain and sun will come.
8. A Year Without Rain – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Another contrast to the desert and comparison of love to rain, Selena Gomez sings about the “need” for her lover: “I need you by my side, Don’t know how I’ll survive, A day without you is like a year without rain.” Need, then again, becomes synonymous to love, want, or miss: “I’m missing you so much, Can’t help it, I’m in love, A day without you is like a year without rain.” And of course, the quintessential desert analogy: “My world is an empty place, Like I’ve been wandering the desert, For a thousand days.” Then we all become dehydrated. Blah blah blah…But the best part is: “So let this drought come to an end And make this desert flower again.” Use your imagination, folks. This could mean a many of things…
9. Come Clean – Hilary Duff
As opposed to our previous songs, “Come Clean” isn’t about love or heartbreak – but the struggle to find love in one’s self. The overwhelming strife for “perfection” that isn’t real. “‘Cause perfect didn’t feel so perfect, Trying to fit a square into a circle was my life.” Rain here acts as a necessary form of truth or rebellion to remove Hilary Duff from this false pretense, this world of counterfeit fronts and phony displays of “perfection.” “Let the rain fall down, And wake my dreams. Let it wash away my sanity. Cause I wanna feel the thunder, I wanna scream. Let the rain fall down, I’m coming clean.” In other words, she yearns to escape this “reality” and be herself.
10. Through The Rain – Mariah Carey
When you “have no one,” Mariah Carey’s here to remind you that you “can make it through the rain and I can stand up once again on my own…” You can make it through the pain, no matter what they say…