Why do rainy days and Mondays get songwriters inspired?

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Why do rainy days and Mondays get songwriters inspired?
Filipino songwriters stay away from songs about the days of the week. But not so with rain or ulan, which they seem to love. National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab (left) romanced with Tuwing Umuulan At Kapiling Ka, while No. 1 selling Filipino song of the moment from Lola Amour is Raining in Manila.
Photos from artists' official social media

It was a rainy Monday morning and a friend posted these lyrics on his Facebook page: “Talkin’ to myself and feeling old/ Sometimes I’d like to quit/ Nothin’ ever seems to fit/ Hangin’ around/ Nothin’ to do but frown/ Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

The song was Rainy Days and Mondays, which was a huge hit by The Carpenters. It was composed by Roger Nichols with lyrics by the brilliant singer/composer and actor, Paul Williams. Remember him in Phantom of Paradise, Planet of the Apes and others? He has also written other songs like Evergreen, We’ve Only Just Began, You and Me Against the World, Rainbow Connection and others.

For Rainy Days and Mondays though, Williams fell into what is called the Monday trap in songwriting. For some strange reason, Monday, named after the moon goddess and the first working day of the week, always gets a bad rap. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are plain weekdays. Everybody is thankful for Friday. Satuday, which in the old days was when people took a bath, is now more associated with fun. Of course, Sunday is all sunshine and a day to relax in.

Nobody seems to like Mondays and this is evident in all of those Monday songs The Mamas and the Papas sang, “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day/ Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way…” The Bangles told of “It’s just another manic Monday/ I wish it was Sunday/ cause that’s my fun day…” The Boomtown Rats were more specific, “I don’t like Mondays/ I want to shoot the whole day down.”

Maybe this is because after the Saturday and Sunday lull, Monday is the start of work and the school classes. A rigorous schedule comes to play, also the medical appointments, the bill collectors and all the things to do, most of them unpleasant, that were put off from the previous week, return as haunting wraiths.

This is not so with the rain even if it comes with thunder and lightning. The downpour brings on traffic jams and floods, expenses for house repairs, not to mention colds and flu. But maybe because of the water’s association with verdant fields and bountiful harvests, there remains something joyous and even romantic about the rainy season. And the same goes for rain songs.

Gene Kelly sang and danced to “I’m singing in the rain…” The Cascades found music with “Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…” The Creedence Clearwater Revival went looking for it, “Have you ever seen the rain…” It is an invitation from Diana Ross, “Cause I love you any way, come in from the rain…” And look at what happened to Barry Manilow, “I made it through the rain and found myself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it through.” And many others.

Filipino songwriters stay away from songs about the days of the week. The only one I can think of is “Lunes, nang tayo’y magkakilala…” Maybe this is because our days of the week are of Spanish origin and do not fit well with the flow of the Tagalog language. But not so with rain or ulan, which they seem to love.

George Canseco turned Boy Mondragon into a hitmaker with “Rain gently falls whenever we say goodbye…” The Itchyworms sang about “Raindrops are falling, water is whistling…” The Apo Hiking Society did “Pumapatak na naman ang ulan sa bubong ng bahay…” Aegis opened emotions with “Heto ako ngayon, basang-basa sa ulan…” Ryan Cayabyab romanced with “Buhos na ulan, aking mundo’y lunuring tuluyan, tulad ng pag-agos mo’y di mapipigil ang puso kong nagliliyab…”

And what can you say about the No. 1 selling Filipino song of the moment from Lola Amour, “It’s been raining in Manila, hindi ka ba nilalamig…” The perky tune has even spawned a joke. It is said to be the reason why it just keeps raining in Manila these days.

The rains are okay as long as we are home and cozy and the dams don’t overflow. But like what Paul Williams wrote, “just not on Monday mornings.”

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with