As we await the Oct. 23 release of Bruce Springsteen’s album, Letter to You, we seek clues of its content, and one arrived via a photo — available on Springsteen’s own brucespringsteenstore.com site, and elsewhere — of the album’s booklet, which contains lyrics to the song, “Rainmaker.” (I’ve included the photo to the right, though the lyrics are not legible here.)
Some have voiced the opinion that the lyrics, which seem to be about a con man who offers hope to desperate souls, are about President Trump.
The chorus goes:
Rainmaker, a little faith for hire
Rainmaker, the house is on fire
Rainmaker, take everything you have
Sometimes folks need to believe in something so bad
They’ll hire a rainmaker
In one of the verses, Springsteen sings:
Rainmaker says white’s black and black’s white
Says night’s day and day’s night.
Another verse goes:
They come ’cause they can’t stand the pain
Of another long hot day of no rain
‘Cause they don’t care or understand
What it really takes for the sky to open up the land.
I’ve never seen the 1956 movie “The Rainmaker,” which stars Burt Lancaster as the slick title character, who promises to bring rain to a drought-suffering Midwestern town — for a hefty fee. But I did see a stage version last year, at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison. And there is no doubt in my mind that Springsteen intends to make a political statement with this song.
To give you a little idea of what the film is about, here is a clip from it, featuring Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn and others.
“How will I do it? I’ll just do it,” the Rainmaker, seeming to believe his own lie, tells the skeptical character played by Hepburn.
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