August 30

Willie and Paula Nelson’s Breathtaking Duet of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

In 2013, Willie Nelson and his daughter Paula Nelson came together to record the classic hit “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” and it was breathtaking. Nelson’s voice was flawless, and it became even more timeless when combined with his daughter’s voice. Indeed, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Their voices meld together in a way that can only be because they’re family. 

The Nelsons’ “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” was released on Willie Nelson’s 2013 duets album entitled To All The Girls… The album includes contributions from heavy hitters, such as Loretta Lynn, Carrie Underwood, and Sheryl Crow. 

Paula Nelson and Willie Nelson
SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse

The Song’s Original Meaning That Stirred Up Music Fans

Written by John Fogerty in 1970, “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” was rumored to be about the Vietnam War, with the “rain” being a metaphor for bombs falling from the sky.

On the other hand, Mark Deming of Allmusic suggested that the song is about the idealism of the 1960s and how it faded in the wake of events such as the Kent State shootings and the killing incident at the Altamont Free Concert. He also concluded that Fogerty was allegedly saying that the same issues of the 1960s still existed in the 1970s, but the people were no longer fighting for them.

Roots rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival released the single in 1971 from the album Pendulum, where Fogerty was the lead singer. The song charted highest in Canada, peaking No. 1 on the RPM 100 national singles chart in 1971. In the United States, in the same year, it peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

However, Fogerty himself has said in interviews and before playing the song in concert that the song is about the rising tension within Creedence Clearwater Revival and his brother Tom’s looming departure from the band. 

In an interview, Fogerty said that the song was written about the fact that they were on the top of the charts, and how they have exceeded all their wildest expectations of fame and fortune. They were rich and famous; however, all the band members were somehow, at the time, unhappy and depressed. 

“Someone told me long ago, there’s a calm before the storm. I know, it’s been coming for some time. When it’s over, so they say, it’ll rain a sunny day. I know, shining down like water. I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? I want to know, have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?” the song goes.

The Song Has Since Been Covered By Many Artists 

Regardless of the song’s original meaning, it has since been covered by artists far and wide. It was even released in Spanish and Portuguese versions. And while Willie and Paula Nelson’s version of the song had been gaining popularity for quite some time, it achieved massive recognition when it was featured on the season two finale of the HBO hit Big Little Lies, which starred Nicole Kidman and Zoe Kravitz.

You can watch the father and daughter’s tandem in an incredible performance of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” in the video below.


paula nelson, Willie Nelson

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