3645. “Rainy Season” by Howard Devoto

Official video:

Howard Devoto has already been mentioned here at Teatro Triste del Clown as the pre-Pete Shelley lead singer of The Buzzcocks. He went on to form Magazine, who are featured prominently later on in my collection.

Anyhow, in 1983 Devoto released his only solo album, Jerky Versions of the Dream. Two songs from that album – “Rainy Season” and “Topless” – got a bunch of airplay on WXCI, so I became fairly familiar with them. Which is not to say I particularly liked them at the time.

Being a completist, when I remembered I used to kind of like this song, I tracked it down a few years ago. Familiar story by now, but its actually aged better than I thought it would have. Its also interesting how songs that you didn’t quite get when you were younger make a different kind of sense when you’re older.

One thing I’d mis-heard for years in this song was the lyric “You’re like a mirage.” I never heard the “g” until the past month, so I always thought he was singing “you’re like a mirror.” That realization kind of made the desert metaphor of the chorus make a bit more sense to me:

I am on fire and its the rainy season
In this desert you made me create
I am on fire and its the rainy season
And you’re like a mirage I could learn to hate

Anyhow, you see how mistaking “mirage” for “mirror” sort of renders that chorus into nonsense.


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