Episode #171: Rainy Night (Song starts at 2:48)
This song was written by myself & Paul Dredge (It appears on our recent folkrock album, ‘The Untrodden Track’ – streaming now).
Rainy Night was inspired by a night spent in a house bus, at a beach, as a youngster. A storm was hitting the bus all night. It was really being rocked around. It felt like the full force of nature was doing its thing. It was an emotional time for me, at 5 years old and I found myself questioning pretty much everything – big thoughts for a youngster.
Fast forward to a few years ago. Paul and I are sitting in the sun in my backyard in Melbourne. Paul is over from New Zealand for a week of songwriting, recording demos and some time at the beach.
Paul is sitting playing his guitar and is coming up with something. He’s looking at the lyrics, which I have ready, of rainy night. I join him and start singing along. In about 20 minutes the song is complete.
On this episode, I’ve isolated Paul’s guitar from the album track mix to help illustrate how the song came together.
The lyrics are sparse. They could apply to anyone’s experience of a lonely stormy night when your mind gets busy and you can’t sleep.
Recently I watched the great Forrest Gump movie again. There’s so many great lines – like when leads are all pulled out and the microphone doesn’t work at the protest gathering and the hippie MC says to Forrest “You said it all, maaaan!“ .
Sometimes less is more and I think by not delving into the backstory in the lyrics of this song, it’s all the stronger for that.
Plus it suits the simpler harmonic changes that Paul has come up with on the guitar, coupled with a strong riff ( simpler than the chord sequences of a song written on the piano- which can often get a little involved at times).
It’s great to have our songwriting partnership alive and well after all these years. We are midway through our next folk rock album, which will be our 6th.
When you write like this with someone, in the moment, there’s complete trust in each other – I’ve mentioned this before, here. Also, there’s a sort of an unspoken agreement happening all the way along. When things feel like they’re ‘on’ …there might be a quick glance and a mutual nod…and then you’re both back in ‘creative world’, bringing ideas into being and combining them in the moment.
It really is a brilliant feeling, producing (what I think is) an uplifting, beautiful song from the memory of what was transformative, if somewhat murky, experience from long ago. That’s the beauty and the power of art. It’s healing for the creator(s) and it can lift others.
Ok here we go… I hope you enjoy hearing how Rainy Night came together. The album track is the version featured on this episode. You can stream the album on most platforms, including www.bandcamp.com