Song Lyric Sunday – “Love, Reign O’er Me”

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing songs involving Musical | Opera for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.

Today I’m choosing a song by the English rock band, The Who. It is on the sixth studio album and their second rock opera, Quadrophenia. It is my favorite rock song from the 1970’s, right next to Pinball Wizard which was on The Who’s first rock opera, “Tommy” in 1969. Today’s song is “Love, Reign O’er Me” (Peter’s Theme). At the time this album came out, the band members were:

John Entwistle - Bass guitar, French horn, vocals
Roger Daltrey - Lead Vocals
Keith Moon - Drums, percussion, vocals
Pete Townshend - Guitars, keyboards, banjo, cello, vocals, sound effects

The Who began work on this album in 1972, trying to follow up with “Tommy”, their first rock opera. There was a delay in getting this album finished while bassist John Entwistle and lead singer Roger Daltrey recorded solo albums and drummer Keith Moon worked on films. When they resumed, a new studio was not complete and the band had to use Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio, an Airstream trailer. This studio worked great for Townsend’s multi-track synthesizers and sound effects. In addition, it worked well with Entwistle’s horns. During the production of this album, the relationship between the band members and their manager Kit Lambert broke down and Lambert left the band by the time the album was released.

The difference in the maturity in Roger Daltrey’s voice over the years is absolutely amazing to me. I love the deepness to his voice today. He can still belt it out!

SONG FACTS

  • Written and composed by Pete Townshend.
  • Released on October 27, 1973 as the second single.
  • It is the final song on the rock opera album.
  • It peaked at #76 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #31 on Canada RPM Magazine
  • “Love, Reign o’er Me” is about the main character of Quadrophenia. His name is Jimmy and was in the middle of a personal crisis. In the song, he finds spiritual redemption in the pouring rain.
  • It was dropped in their live tours after their the Quadrophenia tour in 1973 & 1974. The Who put it back in the band’s playlist for the 1982 farewell tour in North America.
  • It was featured in the 1979 film based on the Quadrophenia album as well as the soundtrack album. The soundtrack version features a flute and string arrangement, with the ending a few seconds shorter that the album version.
  • It was also inspiration for the title of the 2007 film, “Reign Over Me” starring Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, Saffron Burrows and Mike Binder and played throughout the film.

“Love, Reign o’er Me”

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers'
Laying in the fields
Love, reign o'er me
Love, reign o'er me, rain on me, rain on me
Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high
Love, reign o'er me, rain on me, rain on me
Love, reign o'er me, rain on me, rain on me
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool, cool rain
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain
Love, reign o'er me, rain on me, on me, on me, oh
Love, reign o'er me, whoa, on me
Love
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Pete Townshend
Love, Reign o'er Me lyrics Β© Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management

From Wikipedia:

Pete Townshend describes the song:

[It] refers to Meher Baba‘s one time comment that rain was a blessing from God; that thunder was God’s Voice. It’s another plea to drown, only this time in the rain. Jimmy goes through a suicide crisis. He surrenders to the inevitable, and you know, you know, when it’s over and he goes back to town he’ll be going through the same shit, being in the same terrible family situation and so on, but he’s moved up a level. He’s weak still, but there’s a strength in that weakness. He’s in danger of maturing.

80 Comments on “Song Lyric Sunday – “Love, Reign O’er Me”

  1. I love this song and where else will you have the beach is kissed by the sea. I was hoping that more participants would use rock opera songs like this or from the Kinks. That Glastonbury Festival must have been really special. I had no idea about the movie and if I get a chance, I will check it out. Thanks for joining in again with your music Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Glastonbury Festival lives on our DVR. Some nights, my hubby will crank of the surround sound while I’m in the shower way down the hallway and I can feel it while the water is running. It is awesome! I wanted to do Pinball Wizard too, but Love, Reign O’re Me stands out on its own. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Thanks Maggie! I love The Who and Roger Daltrey can still do it. They were on their final tour when the pandemic broke out. They do have tour dates for next year but overseas. I’d love to go to Scotland and see them in March. πŸ™‚ Two bucket list items in one. Probably not a chance! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Ireland and Scotland are on the top of my list. I don’t even have a passport. I need to get one. When I was active duty, back in the day, we didn’t need a passport. I have a lot of the US to still explore. I’d just like to go somewhere!!!! Anywhere!!!! We were supposed to go to Seattle this month but COVID had other plans. I’m just not getting on a plane! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would love that, too, but this is peak tourist time around here with the cool mountain air and the fall color. Too many outsiders to feel safe traveling much.

        Like

    • Yay! I told Alexa to play the song while I ate lunch yesterday. Like I didn’t get enough of it while I was writing up the post…LOL! πŸ™‚ The film is great…all star cast!

      Like

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