Okay so this post is long overdue but I now have time to write it! About two weeks ago, I released a demo version of my song Dance in the Rain. It’s a song that’s quite dear to my heart and I thought I would share what it was about and the story behind it!
These last few months have been quite a challenge for me. I started my year with my father being fired from his job in the midst of me preparing to go study abroad in England. Combined with the trials of growing from a 19 year old teenager to a 20 year old young woman, I had really been feeling down and challenged with all that was going on. Yet I had to chose to not allow my circumstances to affect me and instead allow my focus to remain on the future and moving forward. This was the genesis of the idea behind Dance in the Rain.
Living in Vancouver, it rains a lot. I mean a lot. What do you expect? It’s the Pacific Northwest after all. I would easily say that 75% of the time here, it’s raining. Well, except for this summer. It’s been really dry here which hasn’t been very good but I digress. Point is it rains a lot here. Because it rains so much here, life has to go on. You can’t stop and not do things simply because it’s raining. You have go keep going and live your life. Now the attitude that you have while doing that is entirely up to you. You could be mad and pout or you can choose to focus on the positive and keep going even though it would be easier to sit down and do nothing.
With all this in mind, I’d had the idea of dancing in the rain rolling around my mind. This idea is nothing new; shoot there’s a famous musical called Singin’ in the Rain that deals with the idea of being happy in the rain. Yet I think there’s something really unique and special about dancing in the rain as opposed to singing. With singing, you can still remain dry as long as you’re holding an umbrella. You’re able to shield yourself a bit while still choosing to be positive. However, dancing in the rain requires that you get completely wet. There’s no way of staying dry AT ALL. You have to fully give of yourself and chose to not allow the water and wet to bother you. It’s a decision and a choice to dance when it’s easier to stay inside and curl up in a ball, feeling sorry for yourself. So I thought: why not write a song about that decision to dance in the rain?
As I sat at my piano, I started playing around with some chords. I knew I wanted a jazzier feel but not so jazzy that it felt like a standard. I mean this is largely informed by the fact that Amy Winehouse is a current favorite, along with Mr. Glasper. The chords I chose, however, were directly informed by Ms. Alicia Keys. I remembered a certain dissonance that was used when she went from an Fmaj7 chord to a Dmin7 chord and I really liked that. I ended the phrase on major 7ths because while the other two chords added a darker, minor feel, I wanted it to end with resolution. This contrast between the two helps the song to feel happy and yet sad but ultimately resolved.
As the chords began to come together, the lyrics just seemed to fall into place. They didn’t come immediately though; I had to find them. I had an idea on how the phrasing could work and yet as I kept singing through it, the timing was too unusual to be remembered and it felt forced. Once I sorted out the timing issues, it helped the different parts come together.
I have to say though, the bridge is my favorite part. It helps to reinforce the feeling of being resolved. By raising to major 7ths the tension and contrast create the feeling of rising up and taking a stand so the lyrics needed to correspond. In the midst of having the opportunity to accept defeat, the speaker instead chooses to declare freedom from all of the negative circumstances and chooses to dance in the rain.
All in all, it’s a song that not only means a lot to me but stretched my writing process as well. By using the different types of chords combined with the lyrics, it creates a piece that swirls with emotion but ultimately comes out with a positive focus. It doesn’t deny the challenges of the circumstances and the rain of life yet the focus remains on choosing to dance.
I’ve linked the song below! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Until Next Time,
Peace & Harmonies