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Isn't This a Lovely Day (To be Caught in the Rain?)

     A spate of cool rainy days has got me thinking about rain songs and this week I settled on one that may be less well-worn than Stormy Weather or Pennies from Heaven or Here’s That Rainy Day.  It’s Isn’t This A Lovely Day (To be Caught in the Rain?), by Irving Berlin, written in 1935 and used in the Astaire/Rogers film Top Hat.

     Berlin is sometimes condescended to as too much the journeyman – dependably competent, rarely inspired – but many of his tunes are of the first rank, and I think Isn’t This a Lovely Day is a little gem.  An ABAC structure, the main A melody is sweetly compelling and the B and C sections are interestingly different, making it fun not only to hear but to play.

     In the movie, a sudden storm has Astaire and Rogers sharing shelter in a bandstand gazebo. Astaire is delighted.  He first sings the song to a skeptical Rogers.  By the end of the dance segment, sentiments are noticeably more mutual.  The lyrics tell the story.  Click on the title in red to hear it.  (In the last more improvised chorus, I sneaked in melodic allusions from two other weather songs, one by Kern, and one by Rodgers.  Also, if you listen closely, you can hear a frog, a pocketknife, a frying pan and Waldo.  Just kidding.)

Isn't This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain?)

Verse:

The weather is frightening;

The thunder and lightening

Seem to be having their way.

But as far as I’m concerned,

It’s a lovely day.

This turn in the weather

Will keep us together,

So I can honestly say

That as far as I’m concerned,

It’s a lovely day.

And ev-rything’s OK

Refrain:

Isn’t this a lovely day to be caught in the rain?

You were going on your way

Now you’ll have to remain.

Just as you were going

Leaving me all at sea

The skies broke, they broke

And oh what a break for me.

I can see the sun up high

Though we’re caught in the storm.

I can see a place where we

Could be cozy and warm.

Let the rain pitter patter but it really doesn’t matter

If the skies are gray;

Long as I can be with you

It’s a lovely day.


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