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A Song For You

Andre Manchey

Song: Covered in Rain

Album: Any Given Thursday (Live Album)

Artist: John Mayer

Performed: Oak Mountain Amphitheatre (12th September 2002)

Released: February 2003

Back in the years when his clothes didn’t matter to him, John Mayer wrote a song called “Covered in Rain”. The song has proved to be one of the highlights of John’s career.

A continuation of the love affair which began in ‘City Love’, this is a song you would want to play in your car as you drive through a moonlit highway, preferably when it’s raining. (Because you know, ‘covered in rain’).

It features John’s sultry yet plaintive vocals, but it is the guitar playing that strikes a chord in your chest. The 5-min long guitar section is pure blues porn and will probably whisper to you, if you pay close attention.

On the surface, the song depicts a classic break-up story; You’re with someone, and suddenly they’re gone. You accept that it’s probably for the best but you still can’t seem to move on. By the end of the song, ‘Lydia’ (the same girl mentioned in ‘City Love’), leaves our protagonist, in a cold December.

What most people don’t know is the song has another level to its meaning. Performed on 12th September 2002 (exactly one year after the 9/11 attacks), the song is a flashback to a very dark time in New York City and American history.

“And these days with the world getting colder

She spends more time sleeping over

than I planned”

“Standing by the missing signs

At the CVS, by the checkout line”

The world suddenly feels colder. The couple finds themselves standing by ‘Missing’ posters, beside a CVS checkout queue.

“And now I’m standing facing west

Tracing my fingers around a silhouette

I haven’t gotten used to it yet

But it’s the brightest thing I got”

John mentions a silhouette towards the west of Manhattan, and compares his emotional pain with the pain the city experiences. It’s dark and it’s cold outside, but somehow, strangely, it’s still the brightest thing he has.

"It’s been a long summer”, Mayer exclaims at the end of the performance.

Unfortunately, the song never made it into a studio album. I guess when you perform something so perfect, it's better to leave it untouched.

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