Do new song ‘Fire and you can Rain’ chronicle the brand new death of artist James Taylor’s wife inside an airplane crash?


  • David Mikkelson


  • Authored


Comfortable, plaintive, and you may compelling, “Flame and you may Rain” are the latest hit you to definitely introduced the positioning away from James Taylor, among the many 1970’s biggest artist-songwriters.

Brand new song’s mournful words regarding losings and you will redemption was indeed enigmatic so you can of several listeners, prompting certainly music’s really enduring “What exactly is which track very on the?” metropolitan stories:

Merely past day, it tell me you’re gone. Suzanne, new preparations they produced end you. We strolled out this mornin’, and i typed off this song; I simply cannot contemplate whom to transmit they in order to.

I have seen flame, and you may I have seen rain. I’ve seen bright days which i believe could not prevent. I’ve seen alone situations where I am able to not find a pal, However, I usually believed that I would personally see you once again.

Would not you look off on me personally Jesus? You gotta help me create a stay. You simply have got to look for me personally as a result of another day. My personal body’s achin’, and my personal day was at hand. I won’t ensure it is various other way.

Started walkin’ my personal head in order to a simple time, My straight back became to your sun. Lord understands in the event the cold piece of cake punches, it will turn your face as much as.

Really discover times of your energy on the phone line to talk in the what to come: Sweet desires and you may flying machines in bits on to the ground.

Some listeners tried to make sense of your own conditions because of the discovering exact definition towards the him or her, and you can Taylor’s listeners with each other set-up a keen autobiographical facts range to own his “Flame and you can Precipitation” lyrics:

The genuine facts behind ‘Flames and you may Rain,’ while i understand it, would be the fact certain loved ones regarding James have been attending wonder James because of the bringing their partner, Suzanne, to a single from his concerts – unbeknownst so you’re able to James. Depending on the story, Suzanne’s plane damaged (‘sweet goals and you may traveling machines within the pieces on the ground’) for her means to fix comprehend the show and you can Suzanne passes away (‘Suzanne the brand new agreements they generated put an end to you’).

Contained in this lover-centered interpretation, Suzanne, the woman who was simply now “gone,” was actually Taylor’s partner. These were frequently split as he journeyed into trip, nonetheless they kept in personal touching, purchasing “occasions of your time into mobile range” and you will speaking of the favorable “what you should been” when Taylor ultimately centered themselves given that a musician. Watching exactly how disconsolate Taylor is at becoming off their like, his loved ones establish to own Suzanne to help you travel over to meet him at their next tour prevent. Suzanne cheerfully acknowledged, but the journey holding this lady so you can good reunion together with her beloved crashed, and she try murdered. The “traveling server” and you can Taylor’s “nice aspirations” was now “into the parts on to the floor,” and he got lost her he “usually consider” he’d “discover again.”

Even when James Taylor’s track is indeed autobiographical, it generally does not match the cardiovascular system-wrenching tale collection of preferred legend. Once “Flame and you can Rain” dependent Taylor due to the fact a worldwide pop music star on sensitive many years out of twenty-a couple, he would educated lots of emotional and you may real aches upon which he you’ll attract publishing their words. He currently had an extended reputation for anxiety and you may drug abuse in which however come hospitalized once or twice (1st healthcare experience are the cornerstone of a single out of their very first tunes, ‘Slamming ‘Across Zoo’), and you can he would invested a long time recovering out-of an almost-deadly bicycle collision which had busted one another their hands and feet and you can averted him of picking up your guitar for a few days. All of this was fodder having his songwriting, when he said in the a great 1972 interview that have Running Stone: