The soothing sound. The distinctive smell. The cool feeling. Rain is such a sensory phenomenon that it’s almost impossible not to have our emotions affected by it. All over the world, its representations in arts and culture aren’t few — and K-pop features a downpour of examples.

The moodiness of a rainy day often works as a perfect representation of sadness, with raindrops serving as a metaphor for tears, gray clouds for heavy hearts, and torrents for indomitable emotions.

In Heize’s melancholic “You, Clouds, Rain,” she reminisces about an old love wound. The falling water serves as a medium that transports her straight to the past, and digs up the emotions of the old days. Even if they hurt, she would rather stay there forever than move on and face the present:

Whenever falling rain droplets

And the sound of the clock’s ticking

Fill the room

I go back to that time

I’d rather have this rain

Never stop

So that I could live every day in my memories

Because I’m a fool that hurt you

And I don’t even deserve to hold you in my arms ever again

The rain, as she sings in another verse, is what gives her permission to feel sad and nostalgic. It’s an event suspended in time, where for once what happens outside mirrors the suffering she feels inside.

Heize is not the only one to feel this way. BTSJ-Hope evokes a compelling image of suffering in his verses for “Rain,” even comparing his face to a wrinkled umbrella who must stand the pouring:

As I look at the raindrops

The tears that were flowing down my heart

With that strange feeling,

I look outside and it looks like my situation

The rain that falls like a melody makes everything seem andante

I get ready and leave,

opening the umbrella that was as wrinkled as my face

As I walk, the moment I heard the rain

I wondered who this rain was falling for

In these cases, rain presents an unavoidable (and sometimes desired) confrontation with misery, allowing for moments of reflection and catharsis. A purifying shower for the soul.

But not all storms are gloomy. Rain can also represent the quench of a burning desire, evoking nature’s forces to mirror lust and melding bodies. Jooyoung’s “Wet” depicts this metaphor quite explicitly, as he asks his lover to make it rain inside his heart and his room:

Wet my heart, make it rain

So it won’t dry, so it won’t hurt

Raining in my room

Hug me

Feel my warmth

So I can fall asleep yeah

Wet, wet, I need an umbrella

Wet, wet, I need an umbrella

On another example, Monsta X’s “Fallin’” lyrics are milder, although the aggressive deliver shows a poignant thirst to get to know someone, in all senses:

Let the rain fall so we can’t see

Today, it’s a desperate feelin

It’s ok if my white sneakers and shirt get wet

My head is filled with questions about your heart

Till it overflows, fallin

Till I can’t eat any more, fallin

See how thirsty I am? Do you know?

Now let it rain, so it can all float down

Like a desert yearning for floods, rainfall is a blessing to the infatuated. The water’s healing properties satisfy blazing needs, and the dangers of a deluge are diminished — eager hearts don’t fear a thing.

Fortunately, as sudden as it starts, rain also goes away. GFriend presents this ephemerality in a touching way with their single “Summer Rain.” The group compares a fleeting love story to the refreshing showers of the season:

Love can come to anyone suddenly

Like the summer rain

The sound of rain was so loud, I couldn’t sleep

You were like the rain to me

My feelings with the scent of the earth

Are shaking in bursts

Perhaps you are coming to me

To share your umbrella (My beating heart)

Is this a summer’s day miracle?

And when the hot times pass, they wish to be soaked forever, as the rain provides a bittersweet fantasy: “A memory of a summer day with joy and sadness.”

These are just a few examples in the myriad of songs about rain in K-pop. The phenomenon can evoke the most varied feelings, ranging from sadness, to lust, to nostalgia, but it surely isn’t overlooked. Whether it’s part of a dark thunderstorm or just a brief drizzle, rain soothes our restlessness, and opens the path for brighter days to shine.

(Youtube. Lyrics via Color Coded Lyrics [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. Images via Stone Music Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Source Music.)