Well, I love a rainy night . . .
I love to feel the rain on my face, taste the rain on my lips
In the moonlight shadow.
Puts a song in this heart of mine,
Puts a smile on my face every time.
I'm with Eddie Rabbitt; I love a rainy night. And rainy days. I love rain songs too, even the sad ones. So, naturally (you know what's coming, don't you?), I especially enjoy the glorious feelin' of
Singin' in the rain, just singin' in the rain . . .
I'm laughing at clouds, so dark up above,
The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love . . .
I was probably 6 or 7 years old the first time I watched Gene Kelly frolicking with umbrella on our Philco black-and-white TV. That four-minute sequence from "Singin' in the Rain" inspired me to embrace rainplay - stomping in puddles and dancing between raindrops. When he flings his arms open and lifts his face to the falling rain, the joy in his grin is absolute. I know that feeling.
It's been a long time since I last played in the rain, but lately I've been working in it. Out of four outdoor gigs over the past week and a half, three were rained on and one was rained out. I had a ball at each one, including the canceled Kihei Fourth Friday, where I enjoyed a brief conversation with a gentleman from Canada who refused to believe me when I informed him of the rainout.
"You're kidding me, right? How could you be rained out when there's no rain?"
"Well, it did rain quite a bit today, and it looks like we might get more."
"You call that rain? That wasn't rain! Come on, where's the street party, really?"
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place;
Come on with the rain,
I've a smile on my face . . .
Just singin' and dancin' in the rain.
A week later, at Wailuku First Friday, I got to dance in what even my Canadian friend would call rain. It was glorious, indeed, funkin' it up with my favorite dance band, the Maui 8-Track Players, and kickin' up my heels with the incredible Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band.
The next morning, I emceed the 14th annual Maui Heart Walk at Keopuolani Park amid more blessings from the clouds. Fortunately, like the night before, a good number of folks refused to let a little water dampen their spirits, and the walk was a success. That afternoon, driving to Lahaina for the 42nd annual Sacred Hearts Bazaar, another Eddie Rabbitt song persisted in my head.
. . . those windshield wipers slappin' out a tempo,
Keepin' perfect rhythm with the song on the radio-o
Gotta keep rollin' . . .
It wasn't raining at the time, but I was anticipating the possibility of another evening of rain dance. Fortunately for bazaar attendees, we never got more than a passing drizzle, although the grounds were a bit soggy from the previous night's downpour.
This recent rainy spell not only got me singing my favorite rain songs; it also brought to mind the old phrase "raining cats and dogs." A little online research turned up several theories on its original. The most common one is that 16th-century European homes often had thatched roofs in which domestic animals would hide. In heavy rains, they would either be washed out or would jump and run for shelter, making it appear as though they had dropped from the sky.
As of this writing, the weather forecast predicts a brief shower or two this weekend. Nothing serious, though. No cats and dogs. Darn. Oh well, maybe this will be the weekend that the Weather Girls' prediction finally comes true.
It's raining men, hallelujah!
It's raining men, amen!
I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!
Just in case, I'm leaving my umbrella at home.
* Kathy Collins is a performance artist, broadcaster and freelance writer whose
"Sharing Mana'o" column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is email@example.com.