22 August 2009

Song to Love: Covered in Rain

Appropriately, it is a rainy Saturday afternoon, I'm at work alone in a little box and was just asked by a customer if the building is haunted. I need my favorite song more than ever right now.

And this is it.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before - and it takes a lot for me to say this with complete assurance - but my favorite song is "Covered in Rain" by John Mayer. I guess if I was forced to give the full picture, this would be in a tight race with Chicago's "Beginnings" but that song doesn't do what this one does. "Covered in Rain" is literally everything a song should be - while breaking every rule I have when listening to songs.

Let me explain: When I turn on my iPod, I'm generally looking for a 2 to 3 minute song - upbeat, quick, catchy chorus, nothing too serious. With "Covered in Rain" there's a five minute guitar solo (depending on the version you're listening to, it has never been officially recorded for release), it's a ten minute song total, and it is slower than many of Mayer's other songs. It's not for the musical faint of heart. It is a commitment which might be why it leaves such an impression. I shouldn't even be discussing it for fear that it will make me sound like a larger geek than I already am but seeing Mayer play this live is like pure musical heaven. It transports the audience to a different level - the guitar solo is incendiary. It is a masterpiece. Before I understood anything about musicianship, I knew this was unlike any other basic singer/songwriter shtick. The song tells a story of a failing relationship on the most human level possible, reminiscing about the simple things that are always the hardest to forget.

And the lyrics:

In these days with the world gettin colder
She spends more time sleeping over
Than I’d planned
Tonight we're gonna order in
Drinkin' wine and watchin' CNN
It’s dark, I know
But then again, it's the brightest thing I've got

When I'm covered in rain, rain
When I'm covered in rain, rain, rain, rain

From fireworks to fireplaces
Summer stole what fall replaces
And now we're people watching
All the people, people watching us right back
Standing by the missing signs
At the CVS, by the checkout line
She puts her quiet hands in mine,
Cause she's the brightest thing I've got

When I’m covered in rain, rain
When I’m covered in rain, rain, rain, rain
Oh, I’m covered in rain
Oh, I’m covered in rain
Oh, I’m covered in rain

And come December, Lydia left.
She mentioned something ‘bout it being for the best,
And I can't say I disagree, and its killing me.
And now I’m standing facing west
Tracing my fingers round a silhouette
I haven’t gotten used to yet,
But it’s the brightest thing I’ve got

When I’m covered in rain

This is just one of those songs that can't be discussed in greater length - it must be heard. My favorite version can be found on the live dvd/cd Any Given Thursday but another great rendition is on As/Is available on iTunes and in some stores.


And some extra credit: "Hummingbird" - my second favorite Mayer song with the same eerie, bittersweet feeling that makes "Covered in Rain" so phenomenal. The John Mayer in this video is a completely different one than you're used to these days. It's nice to remember.

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