Single Review: Belinda Carlisle “Summer Rain”

Summer Rain
Album: Runaway Horses
Year: 1990

Belinda Carlisle reminisces about the time she spent with her boyfriend before he left town in in the mid-tempo ballad “Summer Rain.”

They had a romantic, loving goodbye in the pouring rain. Then, as they wait for his train to arrive, he takes her in his arms and they have one last dance together. He promises her that their relationship won’t change despite him leaving. (“Whispering our goodbyes,/Waiting for a train,/I was dancing with my baby,/In the summer rain./I can hear him saying,/’nothing will change,’/Come dance with me baby,/In the summer rain”).

They were a passionate couple as she vividly recalls the memories. They passed the time telling silly jokes to each other. She took in every physical detail of him and photographed him in her mind. (“I remember the rain on our skin/And his kisses hotter than the Santa Ana winds…I remember laughing til we almost cried/There at the station that night/I remember looking in his eyes”).

He was the love of her life and someone she will never forget. He’s a part of her. (“Oh my love, its you that I dream of/Oh my love, since that day/Somewhere in my heart I’m always/Dancing with you in the summer rain”).

She can hear the piercing sound of the military train whistling and remembers him talking about their unexpected romance. (“I can here the whistle/Military train…I can here him saying/Ooh ‘love is strange,’/Come dance with me baby/In the summer rain”). They talked about everything as they waited: their dreams, hopes, fears, regrets, a future together. He finally gets on the train and they wave goodbye to each other until they can’t see other anymore. It would be the last time she would ever see him again. (“I remember the rain pouring down/And we poured our hearts out/As the train pulled out/I can see my baby/Waving from the train/It was the last time that I saw him/In the summer rain”).

With each crack of the thunder or thundering rain upon her window, memories of her dancing in the summer rain immediately return to her. (“Every time I see the lightning/Every time I hear the thunder/Every time I close the window/When this happens in summer/Oh the night is so inviting/I can feel that you are so close/I can feel you when the wind blows/Blows right through my heart”).

By 1990, her popularity had begun to nosedive in the States and her singles did receive as much airplay as before. “Summer Rain” is one of Carlisle’s least well-known hits. However, like most of her songs, it tops her work with the Go-Go’s.

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