James Taylor — Fire and Rain download video

James Taylor — Fire and Rain

"Fire and Rain" is a folk/rock song written and performed by James Taylor. As a song on his second album, Sweet Baby James, the song engendered widespread attention for him. The album was released in February 1970, with the song being released as a single the following February. "Fire and Rain" quickly rose to number three on the Billboard hot 100 charts. It was soon covered by Anne Murray, on her album Honey, Wheat and Laughter, also in 1970.

Moody and introspective, "Fire and Rain" became something of a prototype for the singer-songwriter genre that would boom in the few years following its release. Its apocalyptic imagery proved provocative to would-be interpreters. The sparse arrangement, centered around Taylor's ringing acoustic guitar figures, also became a signature sound for Taylor and was influential among other performers.

"Fire and Rain" is in the 227th position on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Origin of the song

Taylor has related different versions of what the song is about.

In a BBC interview he stated that the song chronicled his experiences in mental institutions and the suicide of a friend.

On the VH1 series Story Tellers, Taylor said that the song was, indeed, about Suzanne Schnerr, a friend of his who died suddenly while he was away from home (the second line of the song is "Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you"). In that same account, Taylor said he had been in a deep depression after the failure of his new band The Flying Machine to coalesce (the lyric "sweet dreams and Flying Machines in pieces on the ground"; the reference is to the name of the band rather than a fatal plane crash, as was long rumored).

As he was wondering what to do with himself, he received word of Schnerr's death, and the song explains that her death was a check for his own worries, a way of realizing the transience of life and his need to get back to his old friends. In other interviews, Taylor has also indicated that a battle with drug addiction figured into the song.

In 2005, Taylor laid the rumors to rest during an interview on NPR. He explained to host Scott Simon that the song was written in three parts:

* The first part was indeed about Taylor's friend Suzanne, who died while Taylor was in London working on his first album after being signed to Apple Records. Friends at home, concerned that it might distract Taylor from his big break, kept the tragic news from him and it was only some time later that Taylor found out.

* The second part details Taylor's struggle to overcome drug addiction and depression.

* The third part deals with coming to grips with fame and fortune, looking back at the road that got him there. It includes a reference to James Taylor and The Flying Machine, a band he briefly worked with before his big break with Paul McCartney, Peter Asher and Apple Records.

Prior to Taylor articulating clearly the origins of the song in interviews, some fans speculated as to the inspiration for the song and - ignorant of or ignoring the fact that Taylor's first band had been called "The Flying Machine" - conjured up complex stories about an airplane crash that had killed someone close to Taylor. Taylor has clearly and categorically refuted such fanciful interpretations by fans and others.

"Fire and Rain" in popular culture

* Taylor performed "Fire and Rain" on The Simpsons episode "Deep Space Homer"; he awkwardly replaced the lyric "In pieces on the ground" with "Flying safely through the air" since Homer and the shuttle crew were in danger of burning up in re-entry.

* The song is featured prominently as a favorite of the family in the movie Running on Empty.

* A book from the webcomic Sluggy Freelance is named after the song.

* The song "Fire and Rain" is featured in the movie Remember the Titans.

* The song is played in the final scene of the episode in Dawson's Creek where Mitch (Dawson's dad) is buried.

* The Bacon Brothers refer to the song, in their song, "Guess Again", from the album "FoRoSoCo". The song details the singer's delusions of grandeur, while he makes numerous outrageous claims.

The clip James Taylor — Fire and Rain can be downloaded for free and without registration.

Size106.42 Mb
Duration3:27 min
Artist James Taylor
If this clip has unacceptable content, namely: scenes of violence, LGBT propaganda, drug use, animal cruelty, etc. please report this in the field below.
1   0

Write a comment