Only Happy When It Rains // Garbage

I only smile in the dark
My only comfort is the night gone black
I didn't accidentally tell you that
I'm only happy when it rains

For being such a pop-oriented song, this one hit the nail on the head for me. Seems back in the 90s a few bands could get away with darker songs that didn’t sound campy in the way they do (to me) lately. The music was upbeat, but the messaging was not quite so much. Eh — I’m convinced that lyrical talent is often wasted on the masses and that more people listen to a song because it earworms them rather than because of the lyrics. I’m probably the opposite — if the lyrics are just plain bad or commonplace (with some exceptions), my interest in a song wanes over time, but I’ll overlook stylistic choices in the music that I don’t typically choose to listen to if the lyrics grab me. Garbage was one of those bands I probably wouldn’t have listened to by choice based on Stupid Girl (that’s not to say it is a bad song, but it’s not all that interesting in terms of lyrics to me), except that this song’s lyrics grabbed me. So, I bought the album. Not a huge fan of the band, but I won’t skip their tracks either (or switch stations in the car).

This song, however, is one of my favorites from the mid-90s.

[Edit: I might have saved myself a lot of grief over the years if I passed out copies of lyrics from this song. Note for the next life…]

4 thoughts on “Only Happy When It Rains // Garbage

  1. I agree with you in regards to the importance of good lyrics. I’ve always been one to immediately look up the lyrics of songs that I like and analyze them when appropriate. Have you ever watched Polyphonic on youtube? He does great video essays on music and musicians and sometimes discusses lyric interpretation in the context of the writer’s life or the era, etc. On another note, I am a dancer and I suspect that a big part of why I prefer Tango over other latin dances that I know is because the lyrics of tango songs tend to be beautiful… as opposed to salsa, and worst bachata, whose lyrics lack poetry and tend to be hypersexual. Of course, old school salsa and bachatas have gorgeous lyrics but those are rarely played in dance clubs. Since Spanish is my mother tongue, I have had to brake the news to several girls on the dance floor that their favorite songs contain rather awful lyrics, in every sense of the word (sexist, misogynist, vulgar lyrics)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to check that out. I have not watched anything by him, as far as I know.

      I never quite got the appeal of the whole misogynist lyrics thing — it’s always grossed me out, to be honest, depending on the degree (of course). On the other hand, sensual and sexual lyrics don’t bother me at all.

      My latin dance musical background is woefully inadequate. When I had a chance to remedy that working at one of several record stores, my focus was on themes entirely different from those styles (jazz, hardcore, swing, acid jazz, folk music, Irish folk, etc.). I may need to correct that part of my musical education…

      Liked by 1 person

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