It’s Gonna Rain

cd cover: thunders mouth by Scott AinslieScott Ainslie

I met you down at Evangeline,
Wearing one of your pretty things.
I’ll never forget how you looked that day;
your eyes so bright as you walked my way.

But I’ve been lonely and I’ve been blue;
Feeling lost since I lost you.
And the wind’s pickin’ up on Lake Pontchartrain;
Any fool could see…

It’s gonna rain; well, gonna rain.
It’s gonna rain; yeah, gonna rain.

The sun’s peeking in underneath the blinds:
What makes you think you’re welcome here.
Go find yourself somewhere else to shine.
I gotta get outta here.

There’s beer bottles and broken Mardi Gras beads
Laying up between parked cars.
I got me a cold morning here in New Orleans and
No good idea, where you are.

It’s gonna rain….

And last night, from the vast cold vacuum of space,
by the light of that moon, I swear I could see your face:

Half-lit ‘neathe the cypress trees,
Where the cottonwoods whisper in the evening breeze,
I know you’ve gone; I know we’ve changed.
But I still get this feelin’ when I can smell the rain.

I never come down here to Bourbon Street.
Nobody in this crowd that I care to meet.
But, I’ll have one little whiskey in your name,
as they run for the doorways and it starts to rain.

It’s gonna rain.

I wrote this song in June of 2005 and sang it first on the fourth of July. Six weeks later after Katrina rolled through the Gulf Coast; the levees failed in New Orleans. And without changing a word, instead of being a song about losing somebody, it became a song about losing a city. And for my money, one of the coolest cities in the world. A city where people drag themselves to the grave yard and dance their way home; where they pour out of their houses and follow the band down the street in what they call the ‘second line;’ a city where people don’t just tolerate differences – they celebrate them.

We had friends air lifted off the Tulane Medical Center roof five or six days into it. And they were the lucky ones. They are back home. But many tens of thousands aren’t. This song is for all of them, to keep them alive in our memories and our political lives. We must do this, if they are going to dance their way home this time.

2015 interview about this song

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