"It Never Rains In Southern California" as written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood....
Got on board a west bound 747,
Didn't think before decidin' what to do,
Oh that talk of opportunity, TV breaks and movies,
Rang true, sure rang true.


Seems it never rains in southern California,
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before.
It never rains in California,
But girl don't they warn ya,
It pours man it pours.

Out of work, I'm out of my head, out of self-respect, I'm out of bread.
I'm under-loved, I'm under-fed, I wanna go home.


It never rains in California,
But girl don't they warn ya,
It pours man it pours.

[flute solo]

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it.
Had offers but don't know which one to take.
Please don't tell them how you found me,
Don't tell 'em how ya found me,
Gimme a break, Give me a break.


Seems it never rains in southern California,
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before.
It never rains in California,
But girl don't they warn ya,
It pours man it pours.

[second flute solo]


Lyrics submitted by jimmer-the-great

It Never Rains In Southern California song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI can't believe anyone hasn't given this song a comment yet. I absolutely love this semi-depressing yet upbeat sort of song, and it deserves much more credit. As for it's meaning...

    In my opinion, it seems like a young ambitious man moves to southern california. Hearing so much about fame and success plus his own wishes to be successful drove him to drop everything and move there.

    Without a job or any sort of experience, he flounders, and wishes he were home instead of here- where he barely gets by living, let alone eating or sleeping.

    He either writes to friends or they visit him, and he asks them not to tell his family that he didn't make it. He asks not to tell them how they found him, which could perhaps mean that he's homeless now, etc.

    This song reminds me of what every young adult fears, not becoming successful in life.. The metaphore for 'It never rains.. but it pours.." makes me think of him saying " Well, it's never bad in southern california, but they never tell you that it always get's worse before it gets better."
    I don't know. I love this song, though. I hope others will post respects after I do.

    ..Perhaps this song hasn't been commented on because there isn't a possible drug reference? Oh, wait. nevermind. You druggies will somehow find a reference to a drug just to ruin the song. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.
    ChillyKittenon September 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHi,

    I'm new to this site, so I'll try to do my best.:)
    As ChillyKitten has described it, I absolutely agree.
    As my first language is not English, for a long time I didn't understand the words.
    It seemed for me in that time that it is about California where people arrive at and have a great life, always sunny days and so.

    I always wanted to go there in anyway, it's not like because of this song, of course.:)

    So I did...with a very good friend of mine, a long time ago...we were only 23-24.
    The same expectations like the singer of this song...in a van from Miami to L.A.
    We got on board of a 747 in Amsterdam, not in the US.:))

    And man, it poured, it poured although never rained.
    We had very hard time live in that van for several months, no work permit, so no work..or sometimes just for food.

    We have worked in Hollywood in a garden for a man from the same country as we were from and every day we have seen the big white letters: HOLLYWOOD.

    Well, needless to say, we didn't make it...I came back at the end of April, 1992 as my tourist visa was supposed to be expired in a couple of days.

    Now does that date ring the bell for someone? Rodney King, L.A. riot, etc.?

    My friend stayed for another 8 months working for a Hungarian restaruant as a dish-washer and it was the time he gave up.

    So this song tells our story, too, although I still wanna go back, this time to Northern California.:)))

    ps:: if it seems a bit sad story, don't worry, IT IS NOT. We were young with full of energy and optimism. And this experience you can't buy in a travel agency. We have met so many interesting people, seen a lot of cities and sites, woken up in the middle of nowhere close to road 66 as we had stopped the previous night with that van for a sleep on a roadside, we didn't even know.

    You remember Forrest Gump, when he crosses the country on foot?
    Now what did you feel when you were watching those scenes?
    Yes,exactly...now that's how we felt and still are feeling when we think about it.:))

    Sorry for the long and theme different explanation, but for us this song means that story.:)
    magistrahuon August 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSigh; Everyone from this era is long Dead, Dead, Dead.
    Everyone hates this crummy song today.
    mrkennyon July 14, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a great song ChillyKitten (as are other Albert Hammond songs such as The Air That I Breathe). Unfortunately only the more recent songs get lots of comments on this web site. This one was (and is) one of my all time favorites.
    gturneron June 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReminds me of my first foreign holiday in Switzerland on a camp site by the side of Lake Geneva. This beautiful song was the only English song on the battered jukebox.
    Skydogon July 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is really depressing :(

    But it's great.
    stagnateon March 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRecently I had the pleasure to travel to Southern California (Redondo Beach) to visit a lady for two weeks. It was my first plane trip anywhere and I travel across the United States (South Carolina) to visit her and I love this song except for the bad elements of it. lol. I fell in love with Redondo Beach but mostly I fell in love with this lady and it DOES rain in Southern California: April 25th 2014. lol. I agree with ChillyKitten in her interpretation of this song.

    After reading the other comments, I kinda think that this song is a metaphor for a place that we long to live in but bc of reality; we have to live somewhere that is not as nice but that's my two cents worth anyway. lol.

    I hope to go back soon and stay forever with this beautiful lady. <3
    teddybearzon June 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a semi-autobiographical song, and it was written while Albert Hammond was still in London.

    Here's my interpretation of the song:

    1st verse:
    - The author gets onboard a 747 to LAX without thinking about it too much. Think's he'll become a star just like so many others who have moved to LA, without considering the people who moved there and *didn't* make it (Read about Survivorship bias)

    2nd verse:
    - He's now down on his luck in LA, doesn't have work, doesn't have money for food, and he wants to go home.

    3rd verse:
    - At this point it sounds like he ran into someone he knew (mirroring a friend who found him quite destitute while he was in London). The phrase "nearly made it" is a good one to tell parents to cover up his predicament, as there's often a fine line between becoming successful and not making it.
    - The line "Had offers but didn't know which one to take" is funny to me, as people often brag about being *too* successful and therefore not knowing what to do. Moral of the story here is that ANY decision is better than being homeless from inaction.
    - Lastly, he begs his acquaintance not to tell his parents how they found him. The line "give me a break," I think, has a double-meaning: he wants his friend to give him a "break" by not telling his parents, and I think he ALSO wants his friend to help him out, maybe by writing a song, i.e. a Musical Break :)

    Chorus:
    The phrase "When it rains, it pours" usually means that when something bad happens, something else bad follows it. Like your car breaks down, and since you can't afford to pay to fix it you end up late for work and getting fired. And if you can't find a job real soon, you could lose your house, etc.

    BUT, I also think that the opposite is true. Someone like Albert Hammond wrote a great hit song, and boom all of a sudden he's selling records, has videos, is touring, on radio/TV programs, etc. In his case he finally made it and it happened really quickly, and he had a steady career for pretty much the rest of his life, either writing for himself or other musicians.

    And it's the same for lots of other people: you have a good interview, get a good job, all of a sudden other companies want you to work for them, you move up, move to a better area, get a better job, etc.

    Ultimately I think this is a great song: a cautionary tale about taking risks, which ends in a positive light if you interpret it that way :)
    ThoughtsOnSongon April 21, 2017   Link

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