A Song From My Childhood: Travis – ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’
For someone so utterly obsessed with music now, I was almost completely oblivious to it as a child. It wasn’t until I hit the age of 15 or so that I started actually listening to music by choice. Even then, my taste was shocking. Nowadays, I’d like to think it’s pretty damn good.
The one song that stands out from my childhood is ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ by Travis.
Well, I’m not entirely sure where I first heard it. Probably at home. It was released in 1999 – when I was 7 years of age – so I reckon I could probably be forgiven. But it sticks with me so easily because it somehow provokes nostalgic thoughts. In my opinion, the 1990s gave birth to perhaps the most naturally emotional pop music ever. I don’t know whether particular chords were rife at the time or whatever, but in hindsight every band seemed to have a catalogue of songs that summed up that ’90s sound’. The lyrics were powerful and often relatable; the subjects poignant and representative of young peoples attitudes at the time.
When I think of ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ I’m always transported to a time before the song was even released. Once that bouncy guitar intro starts, I can immediately remember being sat in my pushchair as a toddler, being pushed along by my mum on a rainy East Notts afternoon with a transparent weathershield covering me and brushing against my feet as we headed down towards the village centre. The song was released the year after I saw my dad for the very last time and I suppose I must subconsciously relate it to my parents break-up and my mum moving on – possibly wondering how to explain everything to me once I reached a certain age.
Most of all, it’s a ‘why is everything going against me?’ kind of song, and I often related it to my confusion of why my dad was never interested in forming any kind of relationship with me. But now, I just see it as one of the best songs of the 90s, which it is. Fran Healy’s vocals are the most perfect I’ve ever heard on any song ever recorded. They’re inimitable and it’d be a crime for any band to even attempt to cover it, in my view. It’s a song that can enhance any mood. Sometimes it makes you want to laugh, sometimes it makes you want to cry – either through sadness or the sheer adrenaline it evokes. I guess that’s why it was always a festival favourite. It means so much to so many people.
My favourite lines would have to be:
- ‘Sunny days, where have you gone? I get the strangest feeling you belong’
- ‘Even when the sun is shining, I can’t avoid the lightning’
I’ve always had a love for melancholic songs and ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ is arguably the most beautiful mainstream example of melancholy from music’s finest era.