Yesterday, 28 August 2016, the Mexican idol Juan Gabriel passed away. Is a big loss for the music in Mexico and in Latin America, cause he released more than 30 albums and wrote hundreds of great songs in his prolific career. Also, according to his Twitter account, Gabriel’s albums have sold over 100 million copies in total.
One of his latest songs was a version of Have You Ever Seen Rain? by Creedence. This song is widely known and has a lot of covers around the world. What have of different this Juan Gabriel’s version in contrast with other covers?
Well, only one difference: this is not a cover. A cover, by definition is a new performance or recording of a previously recorded, commercially released song by someone other than the artist or composer. In this case, the original version was written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971 by the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival (also known only as Creedence).
Fogerty in one interview stated that the song was about the band itself, which was on the top of the charts, famous, rich, but at the same time all the members were depressed and unhappy. That’s why the lyrics are in a dark sense: “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/Shinin’ down like water/I want to know/Have you ever seen the rain?
In contrast, in the Juan Gabriel’s song the tone is totally optimistic:
Cuando veo salir el sol/Como el que ha salido hoy/Mi yo siente mucha alegría/No hay tristeza y no hay dolor/Nada extraño siento yo/Si no que sería de mi vida/Ahora no, no ha llovido el día de hoy/Y ahora no, no hace frío ni hace calor/Óyeme/Hace buen tiempo gracias al sol.
(When I see the sunrise/As today/I feel a lot of happiness/There’s no sadness and there’s no pain/Nothing strange I feel/If not what will be of mine?/Today no, haven’t rain today/And today no, there’s no cold or hot/Listen to me/There’s good weather thanks to the sun).
As we can see it’s a completely new song with the music of “Have you ever seen the rain?” and, with a different idea, it’s a song about happiness, where the phrase “There’s good weather thanks to the sun” it’s completely different to the original “When it’s over, so they say/It’ll rain a sunny day”.
This version was approved by Fogerty himself which in his Twitter account posted: “Thank you for the amazing cover of “Have you ever seen the rain?”. Yesterday, in his Twitter account, Fogerty published a link to his Facebook page, where he posted his sadness for the Juan Gabriel’s death and also revealed that “We had talked about performing this song together…”
In his last years, Juan Gabriel consider more than a legend in the Latin American music started to extend his talent to the music in English, reaching several artists to record songs of him in the format of duo, as for example with Elton John, Paul McCartney and also young singers as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. This project maybe will not see the light of the day, but at least this great new version of Creedence still playing in our ears.
You can listen this version in this link: https://open.spotify.com/track/1o42lyL3IxECjsj5hVryhZ