SongNotes: Rain in the Key of D

Jamie O’Reilly
Rain in the Key of D
By Michael P. Smith

Michael wrote this song on one of his long trips and gave me a cassette when he returned. He said he wrote it with my daughters and me in mind – singing three-part harmony. And we three still perform it together. I have the original typed lyrics. At the time Michael wrote it, we were doing some concerts as a Trio with Peter Swenson, and he gave us the vocal parts written out.

Except for a radio version recorded when I was coming out of a bout of laryngitis, this is the only recording I have, live at a concert in 2008. The music file (below) was re-discovered recently and is shared below. There was a video of me singing Rain in the Key of D, (which is actually sung in A), during Covid lockdown, with Michael playing guitar in 2020, I am trying to locate.

One of the last recordings we did together before he passed away, the song is a treasure, and a powerful example of our deep musical connection, and his depth as a lyricist and composer.

Rain in the Key of D, live

Jamie, vocals
Paul Amandes & Michael Smith, guitars
Recorded live May 3, 2008
Hogeye Folk Arts Concert
Evanston, Il

Rain in the Key of D
(words and music by Michael P. Smith, 1995)

Who gave my Sunday morning
An early storm cloud warning
Who stole the hours from all my clocks
And set them free?
Who made my nights so long
The sands of time had gone to
rob her waves before the sun dropped even to the sea

It was you, darling
All these things you gave to me
And rain in the key of D

Who wrote my childhood’s ending
In letters not for sending
Who made my sundial from a bone-white desert tree
Who drenched my sunlit towers in sudden thundershowers
Falling down on white horse road
Far as I could see

It was you, darling,
All these things you were to me
And rain in the key of D
Rain in the key of D

Rain and me, we’ve been fallin’ forever for you
But if we see you never
What will we do?
The Western wind and I
We get caught in the sky

Who taught me to remember
The bleak and wild December
When winter’s child so cold
Enthralled the heart of me
Though gray the waves and stormy
Whose astrolabe looked for me
On whose far horizon by what charts
where dragons be?

It was you darling
All these things you left to me
And rain in the key of D
Rain in the key D