Offbeat Academia:Rainy day songs ease April showers

Before May flowers come April showers. Here are a few rainy day suggestions.

April can be a real bummer.

Spring may be here, and sure, the high temperature is consistently staying above 50 degrees, but this month is known for its precipitation. And for students, this month only brings us closer to finals with each cloudy day.

Imagine Paddington Bear, with his blue slicker and red hat, clambering into class to take an exam. It’s just sad.

My column isn’t about music, and I usually feel uncomfortable writing about music because I lack the vocabulary. But I like lists. Most of these songs don’t have anything to do with weather, but music can be great company when it’s drizzling outside. In no particular order, here are my top five rainy day songs, if there can even be such a thing:

1. “Puddle Splashers” by Cap’n Jazz.
I was introduced to this band by a very good friend of mine who put it on a mixtape for me. The song is upbeat and fun. It will make you get out of your house, your apartment or your dorm room, and if not, it will at least make you bounce around inside. It reminds me a lot of being a kid: immature, stupid and naïve. Even now, I feel like a kid – and I think a lot of you can relate to that every time you get embarrassed or you enjoy the freedom of being alone. Hopefully, sometime this month, you’ll have a chance to turn this song up really loud and jump on your bed. The title is suitable, too.

2. “Only in Dreams” by Weezer.
Oh man, does this remind me of high school. See, where I grew up, it wasn’t like the movies (as I’m sure most hometowns aren’t). We didn’t have big parties when parents went out of town because they never really left, and we didn’t have any money.

There was a house, though, where we did our “hanging out.” And those kids showed me The Blue Album. I will be forever grateful, and I hope you can scratch eight minutes into your schedule to check out this song ,if you haven’t already. It’s pretty epic – for high school, I guess.

3.“The Trembling of the Rose” by Two Gallants.
I figured if I’m doing a rainy day song list, I have to include a sad song. That’s what rain is all about, right? Crying. So, if you’ve felt loss, this one should really wrench your heart.

The most impressive thing about this song is its power on those who have caused the hurting, as well. Even the femme fatale can’t swagger to this – the guilt will build up in her throat. I don’t mean to get so gloomy (or maybe I do), but I felt like I had to throw a song in for the kids who like to sit and watch the raindrops trickle down the window pane.

4. “Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure” by The Weakerthans.

Kitty-cat! Staying inside can be better than anything if you have a cozy, cuddly feline to snuggle with. This song is about a cat, which is absolutely delightful, and it’ll turn those Two Gallants blues right around. Unless you have an allergy (or an empty space where your soul should be), you can’t help but feel fuzzy after listening to this song. So, when the rain bids you to stay inside, pull your cat from under the bed and rock her like a baby singing, “I can’t remember the sound / that you found for me…”

5. “Hazy Jane II” by Nick Drake.
This has been my favorite song by the late Nick Drake ever since I started listening to his music. If you ever get a chance to learn about his life, I warn you the story is pretty sad. Although, from the sound of this song, it’d be hard to imagine. The trumpets will promise you there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud. Drake is always good for book readin’ or a long drive.

I was hesitant at first, but I feel pretty good about this list. Like any top five, it’s not permanent. In fact, by the time this is published, I will have scrapped the whole thing. Whether they remain in my top five or not, they’ll always be songs I connect to a person or a time.

This issue of the column is dedicated to Joseph Alan Sivick Jr.

Sarah Sanders can be reached at

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