In autumn of 2009, it seems like it rained every day. It was raining so much, I thought that it might be about time to build an ark. This is when I got the idea of writing a song about Noah. The main idea for the song was to write about Noah talking about how his neighbors reacted to his ark building. The idea for the tune came quickly. The chorus of the song was also relatively easy to write. The verses came slower and the song sat half written for a while.
A friend that is a teacher for advanced middle school kids was doing a set of lessons on song writing and asked me to come perform and talk to her students. I was happy to do this. I also used the date for my sessions with the students as a deadline for writing the song. First, I wanted to perform the song for the students. I also wanted to have the song writing process fresh in my mind for this song so I would be able to better talk about how I write all of my songs. I completed the song “It’s Gonna Rain” in time for the classes with the kids.
I’ve looked back at my notes for the sessions and the one thing that I shared that was specific to “It’s Gonna Rain” was the way that I repeat an idea using different words. This is illustrated in the chorus of this song with the words “It’s gonna rain, it’s gonna pour, it’s gonna flood and then it’s gonna rain some more”.
The other thing I did with this song that I shared was that I am slow to reveal what the song is about. When I perform this song live, I just start singing it without an explanation. So it’s not obvious from the beginning that it is about Noah. I let the listener discover this as the song builds. I assume that my audience knows the story of Jonah and that they will discover who this song is about by the end of the first verse. This is a technique that I have used on other songs. “Electric Jesus” comes to mind.
I remember that it was raining on the first day I performed this song for a group of my friend’s students. I also remember performing it at a church in Henderson, TN about a week after the floods in Nashville in May of 2010. It had also flooded around Jackson and Henderson during that storm. I don’t think my audience knew how to take my song that night. I told them that I had started writing it during the fall of the previous year and they looked at me like I was some sort of prophet writing about our flood. It didn’t feel like that at all when I wrote the song.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller