‘Too Much Rain’ is the seventh song on Paul McCartney’s thirteenth solo album Chaos And Creation In The Backyard.

The song was inspired by ‘Smile’, written by Charlie Chaplin for his 1936 film Modern Times, with lyrics later added by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. Chaplin had based the music on Puccini’s opera Tosca.

The beginnings of the song came from Charlie Chaplin. Not only was he the great comedian; he was also pretty good at penning a tune. He wrote ‘Smile’ for his film Modern Times, and it’s always been a favourite of mine. That idea of smiling, even though your heart is breaking. Here we have simple encouragement: when you’re down, you can get back up. ‘Make a vow/That you’re going to be happy again.’ I sometimes refer to that idea as a ‘get over it’ song.

There’s a pretty basic imagery in this song. We associate rain with things not going too well, and sunshine with things being great. There’s really no more to it than that. I’ve used lines like ‘meet you in the falling rain’ or ‘that was a glorious day with the rain’ or ‘it was great to stand out in the rain and be in love’ once or twice in a song, but generally rain is bad news, so it’s not right that in one life there should be too much rain.

‘Too Much Rain’ was recorded in September 2004 at London’s AIR Studios.

Most of us can accept that some rain must fall into each life, because generally we don’t have more than a little rain. But some human beings – say, refugees in flight, or some people in developing countries who’ve got absolutely nothing and are literally dying of hunger – have, in the most basic of terms, too much rain. It’s not fair that some people should have so much to cope with when the rest of us have so much to be grateful for.

So, even though I might originally have been raised to be that Liverpool tough guy, I’ve learnt over the years to try to open myself up, to understand that so many people’s hearts and lives have a lot of rain in them, a lot of pain. I’d like to think that some of my songs have done the same, have made people feel something they did not even know was there. People have told me they’ve had that experience. And plenty of songs have done the same for me. It’s true that life can sometimes be ‘too much for anyone’, but that’s why we have songs – to try and make the rain go away or, at least, hold an umbrella over you for a while.

Previous song: ‘English Tea’
Next song: ‘A Certain Softness’
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