"A Little Rain (For Clyde)" as written by and Tom Waits....
Well, the Ice Man's mule is parked outside the bar
Where a man with missing fingers plays a strange guitar
And the German dwarf dances with the butcher's son
And tonight a little rain never hurt no one

Well, they're dancing on the roof
And the ceiling's coming down
And I sleep with my shovel and my leather gloves
And a little trouble makes it worth the going
And a little rain never hurt no one

Oh, the world is round and so I'll go around
You must risk something that matters
Oh, my hands are strong, I'll take any man here
If it's worth the going, it's worth the ride

She was fifteen years old
And never seen the ocean
She climbed into a van
With a vagabond
And the last thing she said
Was "I love you mom"

And a little rain never hurt no one
And a little rain never hurt no one


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Little Rain (For Clyde)" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © AUDIAM, INC

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A Little Rain (For Clyde) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentAbsolutely NOT a murder ballad

    Q: "A Little Rain."

    WAITS: Oh, l love those expressions. I'm always writing those things down --- a little rain never hurt no one. Kathleen had this melody, and I saved it from the fire. She has all these Irish melodies. Then we read one of those terrible articles in a newspaper about a kid in a van that went out of control and went over a cliff, and they all died. Goes through some different time periods. Starts out with the ice man's mule, then it goes to the dancing on the roof with the ceiling coming down, and ends up in the van. So I think it comes forward in time, a little bit, with the images. But it's a song you can add another verse to, if you want.
    joe5316608on August 12, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo melancholy, so strange... All these weird images & at the end a young girl wanders off & (you presume) gets herself murdered. "And a little rain never hurt no one". This song lingers in the mind.
    morbid moragon June 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionIt could be from the point of view of a father tracing his daughter's steps. Lost, wandering around this strange town where his daughter was last spotted. Angry and alone.
    garethmon October 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Garethm, it's likely the ruminations and observations of a father, or mother, who lost their 15 year old daughter. Apart from the heartbreaking sentiment of a young girl venturing off on her own, her parting words being, "I love you Mom," the verse about the parents' grief is achingly inspirational. The idea that to continue, to progress, or merely trudge along on this planet requires "risking something that matters" (your child) is really thought provoking. That, coupled with the lines "if it's worth the going, it's worth the ride" is a mentality that serves to allow one to endure the hardest blows that life throws at you - the hardship of losing your daughter (the ride) amounts to strengthening and developing you as a person in order to better live your life (the going).
    TRaeCHon April 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHm, if I didn't know better, I'd suggest the total opposite - these verses might be coming from the lips of a murderer? For the shovel he is sleeping with could reveal to the listener the very tool used to cover (literally) the evidence. Or, merely a defensive weapon (but what would a parent do with a shovel, perhaps *argh* search?)...
    Either way, I wanted to point out the similarity between this song and another of my favourites - Nick Cave's "The Kindness of strangers". Bit less melancholic, but with a developing drama!
    djontraon August 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother sick and twisted murder ballad. Tom has written so many of these. Told from the killers perspective as he is burying her 15 year old body while it pours rain.
    Stevedogboxon February 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReading these comments, makes me realize I hear this song completely different than everybody else here. When I hear it and I hear about The Iceman's mule, and the German dwarf dancing with the butcher's son it makes me think about World War 2 Hitler and Mussolini. I always misunderstood the line she climbed into a van she climbed into an oven. With a vagabond. The dancing on the roof in the ceilings coming down I always took to mean the Blitzkrieg where the attack on London, and sleeping with a shovel and leather gloves I always took to mean you know just how the night Watchman would always do it.
    So when I heard that line climb into an oven. I always assumed dead of the Jewish death camps.
    corey10206on May 25, 2016   Link

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