About The Song

Background

“I Wish It Would Rain” is a song by The Temptations, an iconic American vocal group that played a crucial role in the development of soul and R&B music. The song was released in December 1967, becoming a significant hit in 1968. It was written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, and Roger Penzabene, and produced by Whitfield, who was a key figure in crafting the distinct sound of The Temptations and Motown Records during the 1960s.

The song emerged during a period of profound emotional distress for lyricist Roger Penzabene, who wrote the words in response to personal heartbreak. This genuine emotion is palpable throughout the song, making it one of the most poignant tracks in The Temptations’ catalog. “I Wish It Would Rain” reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart, underscoring its widespread appeal.

Musical Style

“I Wish It Would Rain” is a classic example of the Motown sound, blending soulful melodies with lush instrumentation. The song features the powerful lead vocals of David Ruffin, whose emotive delivery is complemented by the rich harmonies of the other group members: Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams.

The musical arrangement, crafted by Norman Whitfield, includes a prominent use of strings and horns, which were characteristic of many Motown productions. The song’s tempo is moderately slow, emphasizing the melancholic nature of the lyrics. The rhythm section, consisting of bass, drums, and keyboards, provides a steady foundation, while the orchestral elements add depth and emotional intensity to the track.

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Lyrics

The lyrics of “I Wish It Would Rain” express a profound sense of sorrow and longing. The narrator is dealing with the pain of a broken heart, longing for rain to hide his tears from the world. The opening lines set the stage for the emotional journey that follows:

“Sunshine, blue skies, please go away / My girl has found another and gone away.”

These lines immediately convey the narrator’s despair and desire for the weather to mirror his inner turmoil. The chorus reinforces this theme, with the narrator pleading for rain to fall:

“I wish it would rain / Oh, how I wish that it would rain.”

Throughout the song, the lyrics maintain a consistent focus on the narrator’s emotional pain and the symbolism of rain as a means to mask his tears. This metaphor of rain is a powerful image, effectively capturing the depth of his sorrow and the desire for a reprieve from his visible suffering.

Cultural Impact

“I Wish It Would Rain” had a significant cultural impact upon its release and remains a notable entry in the Motown and The Temptations’ repertoires. The song’s emotional depth and relatable themes of heartbreak and longing resonated with a wide audience, contributing to its success on the charts.

The song is often highlighted as a prime example of David Ruffin’s vocal prowess. Ruffin’s ability to convey raw emotion helped solidify his status as one of the era’s most talented soul singers. His performance in “I Wish It Would Rain” is frequently cited as one of his finest, demonstrating his unique ability to blend power with vulnerability.

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Moreover, the song’s production, featuring the sophisticated arrangements typical of Norman Whitfield, showcased the evolving sound of Motown Records. Whitfield’s work on this track, along with other hits of the era, helped push the boundaries of soul music, incorporating more complex orchestral elements and deeper emotional themes.

“I Wish It Would Rain” has been covered by various artists over the years, further testament to its enduring appeal. These covers span multiple genres, indicating the song’s broad influence and the universal nature of its themes. Notable artists who have recorded versions of the song include Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Conclusion

“I Wish It Would Rain” stands as a timeless classic within The Temptations’ extensive catalog and the broader landscape of soul and R&B music. Its blend of heartfelt lyrics, emotive vocal performance, and sophisticated musical arrangement exemplifies the qualities that made The Temptations and Motown Records influential forces in the music industry.

The song’s success on the charts and its lasting impact on both fans and fellow musicians speak to its significant place in music history. It remains a poignant reminder of the emotional power of music and the enduring legacy of The Temptations. Through its exploration of heartbreak and longing, “I Wish It Would Rain” continues to resonate with listeners, maintaining its relevance and emotional impact decades after its initial release.

Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤

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Hmmm
Sunshine, blue skies, please go away.
My girl has found another and gone away.
With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom.
So day after day, I stayed locked up in my room.
I know to you it might sound strange.
But I wish it would rain. (How I wish that it would rain)
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

‘Cause so badly I wanna go outside. (Such a lovely day)
But everyone knows that a man ain’t suppose to cry, listen.
I gotta cry ’cause cryin’ eases the pain, oh yeah.
People this hurt I feel inside, words can never explain.
I just wish it would rain. (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)

Oh, let it rain.
Rain, rain, rain (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)
Ooo, baby. Let it rain.
(Let it rain) Oh yeah, let it rain.

[Instrumental]

Day in, day out, my tear stained face
Pressed against the window pane.
My eyes search the skies, desperately for rain.
‘Cause raindrops will hide my teardrops.
And no one will ever know.
That I’m cryin’… cryin’ when I go outside.
To the world outside my tears, I refuse to explain.
Oh, I wish it would rain. (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)
Ooo, baby.

Let it rain, let it rain.
I need rain to disguise the tears in my eyes.
Oh, let it rain.
Oh, yeah, yeah listen.
I’m a man and I got my pride.
Give me rain or I’m gonna stay inside.
Let it rain.

(Let it rain)
(Let it (rain) (rain) (rain) rain, rain)

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