James Taylor’s Fire and Rain

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James Taylor’s Fire and Rain

James Taylor's Fire and Rain

Folk Rock

This song was written by James Taylor and produced by Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon fame).  It was released as a single in early 1970 and on Taylor’s 1970 album Sweet Baby James.  The song went to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #4 on Cashbox Top 100, #7 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart, and #2 in Canada.

The song comes from a number of things going on in Taylor’s life. One refers to Suzanne Schnerr, a childhood friend of his who committed suicide while he was in London recording his first album. Other concerns were Taylor’s confrontation with his own drug addiction and depression. And then there were fame and fortune to deal with. The song contains a reference to James Taylor and The Flying Machine, a band he worked with before a breakup with Apple Records. The album Sweet Baby James through Warner Bros. was a huge commercial success.

The singing on the track (as well as the Sweet Baby James album) is so present, front and center. Carole King is on piano. Drummer Russ Kunkel used brushes rather than sticks. Bobby West played a double bass rather than bass guitar, giving a depth to the feelings in the song.

Here are the lyrics to “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor:

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
I just can’t remember who to send it to.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, You’ve got to help me make a stand.
You’ve just got to see me through another day.
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come.
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now.

Thought I’d see you one more time again.
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now.
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you, fire and rain, now.

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by.

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