Story Behind the Song: David Nail, ‘Let It Rain’
In 2011, David Nail released "Let It Rain" as the first single from his Sound of a Million Dreams album. In 2012, the song earned Nail his first No. 1 hit; it was also the first chart-topper for singer Sarah Buxton, who contributed background vocals to the track.
Written by Nail with Jonathan Singleton, "Let It Rain" takes its inspiration from a movie that had been released a few years earlier. Below, Nail shares the story behind the song in his own words.
Prior to getting married, most of my relationships ended sort of sour. I was never short of material to dive back into. Now, I'm happily married and in a real positive place, and when it came time to start writing for [The Sound of a Million Dreams], I was like, "Man, I don't have any miserable moments to pull from now. I think I tapped that well dry."
I can't remember who came up with the phrase "Let It Rain." Jonathan came in with this really cool guitar groove; it was unlike anything I had ever written, and I just loved it. It's not a bona fide tempo song, but with the guitar, the way it moves, it moves like a tempo song.
We started talking about [the phrase] "let it rain," and a scene in the Zach Braff movie The Last Kiss: Zach's engaged and meets this young girl, they had their moment, and [then he has] mental anguish. He tells [his pregnant fiancée] about it.
I thought the scene at the end of the movie was one of the most unique I had seen: The fiancée had thrown him out of the house, and his future father-in-law said, "You have to wait until she's ready. She may never be ready."
He goes home and sits on front steps. Days go by, and the weather gets bad. He sleeps on the steps.
At the end of the movie, there's no dialogue. You see [his fiancée] crack the door open, and you don't know if she opens it up and throws all his stuff out, you don't know if she lets him in, you don't know if they have a talk.
It's a really powerful scene, and I just remember trying to wrap my head around that, to describe how there can be years of good, but you can't hide one night that you forgot to wear a ring. Your life can be going just perfectly, and everything's fine, and one little mistake can throw the wrench of all wrenches into it.
I always try to put my mind around something and put myself into it. That's what I did [in writing this song]: I thought about what I would do and how I would feel.
Sarah Buxton was kind enough to sing the background part on ["Let It Rain"]. It became a very involved background part and very unique to the song.
This story was originally written by Nancy Dunham, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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