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
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. BTS’ J-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
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.