WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO THE RAIN - chords and comments


This is not a song about acid rain. In 1962, Malvina Reynolds participated in a campaign against nuclear testing above the ground. Scientists proved, by testing baby teeth, that Strontium 90 came down with the rain and affected nutrition. The following year, a treaty against such testing was signed by president John F. Kennedy.

Malvina Reynolds, born Milder in 1900, was a prolific, but coy singer and songwriter. Though always being interested in music and art, she started writing songs on her own first way passed the forties. In a grandma and housewife's disguise, she wrote more than 400 songs her own way: unpretentious lyrics, slightly ironical, about various social matters, from a left-wing point of view. Besides she also wrote children's songs and lullabies. Slowly she gained popularity as a plain american's spokes(wo)man, and in the beginning of the sixties she rose to a prominent person as a songwriter. Her friend Pete Seeger immortilized "Little Boxes", "Morningtown Ride" recorded by The Seekers was the first lullaby ever to reach the top of the charts, and Joan Baez - later also The Searchers - made nuclear fallout a common dispute by recording "What Have They Done to the Rain?". She contributed songs and material to PBS' "Sesame Street" as the character "Kate" until her death, and the film biography "Love It Like a Fool" was made the year before. In the sixties and seventies no songbook was printed without including at least *one* of her songs.
Then, there were silence.
Writing 2020, the world is still on fire, maybe more than ever. Malvina; we miss You!
D                   G            A
just a little rain falling all around
      A7                         D        D7
the grass lifts its head to the heavenly sound
Bm             Em7   F#m
just a little rain, just a little rain
Em              G           A   ...A7
what have they done to the rain?

D                   G              A
just a little boy standing in the rain
     A7                         D   ...D7
the gentle rain that falls for years
          Bm      Em7
and the grass is gone
    F#m
the boy disappears
     Em                      F#m
and rain keeps falling like helpless tears
     Em             G           A
and what have they done to the rain?
D major
D
D seventh
D7
A major
A
A seventh
A7
G major
G
E minor
Em
E minor seventh
Em7
F sharp minor
F#m
B minor
Bm
Malvina Reynolds