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Blowin’ in the Wind: How Classic Rock Found Solace in Weather

August 4, 2015 1:33 PM |

Classic Rock and Weather Songs

The year 1969 brought with it a winter that most in England would like to forget. The wind was terribly chilly and the biting cold was unforgiving and prolonged. However, in April that year, somewhere in Ewhurst, United Kingdom, Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison’s rendezvous with a bright shining sun gave classic rock one of its most prized possessions till date.

If there’s one thing we’ve all heard about the song ‘Here comes the sun’, it’s the fact that Harrison came up with the song while sitting in Eric Clapton’s garden. But the real essence of the song lies in the background which led to this magical compilation. The year 1969 wasn’t a good one for Harrison who had quit The Beatles for some time; was arrested for possession of marijuana; and also had his tonsils removed. So it was all cold and dark for the Liverpool born Beatle.

But weather finally came to his rescue as a seemingly tired Harrison went strumming away at his guitar under a welcoming April sun. In a way, the song signifies relief from a really cold, dark, and challenging period of life.

Classic Rock has its roots in expressionism which took to social and cultural issues during the 60s and 70s. Weather played a vital role in the development of rock music during this period. The Beatles penned down close to 308 songs and 16 per cent (48 songs) of these make a reference to weather. Not just The Beatles, but other major rock artists and bands involved the rain, the wind, the storm, and the rainbow in their lyrics to draw direct comparisons from nature. A lot of time and thought was given to using weather as a means of expression.

Classic Rock and Weather

In addition to this, Bob Dylan’s evergreen hit ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ refers to the intangible nature of a few answers/solutions to life and compares it to the wind which is hitting you in the face but you can’t really see it. Also, Pink Floyd’s ‘Goodbye blue sky’ speaks about the singer bidding farewell to good and peaceful times which are represented by a clear blue sky in this song.

Another number which dates back to 1971 is from Creedence Clearwater Revival and goes by the name ‘Have you ever seen the rain’. The song’s lyrics refer to the implosion which the band suffers despite hitting a professional high. The words ‘have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day’ are a clear reference to the looming sadness and depression surrounding an individual or group despite things working out in their favor. ‘November Rain’ from Guns N’ Roses is another rock ballad which uses unusual weather conditions to depict unwarranted tough times (‘cold November rain’).

Above everything else it is the close relationship, a sort of interdependence between weather and music, which reestablishes the omnipresence of weather and its direct impact on human psychology and lifestyle. No doubt millions have been able to relate to songs smeared with weather-wise lyrics. After all, weather has done exceptionally well to 'hit the right note' every single time.

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