I wrote my first song when I was fourteen. A friend gave me a poem about…friendship. Innovative, I know. I decided to try my hand at writing some music to go along with it. I don’t have the poem anymore. I regret not saving the poem, though I don’t remember it being a conscious decision. At fourteen, I’m not sure how many conscious decisions I actually made.
But I do remember the pale pink paper that held the poem, and that I loved my friend and that the song wasn’t very good.
Some of my songs have a distinct story underlying their creation. Some just come to life and I can’t remember quite how they entered existence. I recall writing “Dancing in the Rain,” but I’m not sure what sparked the idea. Since the concept is about being positive in the middle of hard things, maybe hard things were happening and I was trying to convince myself to be positive? Don’t know. I do know that I wrote the song using a spiral notebook, not pale pink paper. But I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.
“Dancing in the Rain” is such a happy song. I love the message and reminder that it is possible to choose happy in the midst of hard. Make no mistake, while it is a choice, it sure as heck isn’t an easy one. If I had to guess my track record for choosing to find happiness when my heart was breaking, I’d guess I’m about…actually, maybe it is best not to incriminate myself. Let’s just say I have work to do.
If I think of happiness in terms of always having to have a smile on my face, looking on the bright side of everything and constantly being in a state of contentment and good-spirits, it feels…hard. But it seems doable when I think of happiness like this…
“Action for happiness asks of you…to be loving, compassionate and true, a giver of joy and healer of sorrow, creator of a new tomorrow, making the happiness of others, your wish, your compass and your goal.”
I am a believer in choosing joy, seeking good and looking for the happy things in life. Am I perfect at it? Well, I think we’ve already covered that. But I do like the pursuit – the happy challenge – of emphasizing the hopeful side of a tough situation. I like the idea of dancing in the rain – more figuratively than literally. But “literally” would probably be fun too.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland advises, “Learn as quickly as you can that so much of your happiness is in your hands, not in events or circumstances or fortune or misfortune. We have choice, we have volition, we have agency, and we can choose if not happiness per se then we can choose to live after the manner of it. Abraham Lincoln had plenty to be unhappy about in the most difficult administration a President of the United States has ever faced, but even he reflected that “folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Happiness comes first by what comes into your head a long time before it comes into your hand.” (Living After the Manner of Happiness, BYU Idaho Devotional)
If there is a lot of “rain” in your life right now, maybe you could break out your slicker and your polka dot umbrella (or your plain black one is fine too) and make the most of the situation. I know the rainbow is coming and the sunshine is going to break through the clouds. In the meantime, perhaps dancing in the rain will help!
Print the “Dancing in the Rain” song study HERE.
What is a song study, you ask? We use song studies for all the songs in Live All In – but they are a little longer and more in depth. This is a mini song study – just one page. It contains lyrics and thoughtful questions inspired by “Dancing in the Rain.” It is a meaningful way to embrace and learn more about the message of the song.
It would make for a fun and easy Family Home Evening! Just print a song study for each member of the family and then watch the video together. Discuss the message of the song. Maybe you could talk about some “rain” in your life right now and how to see the “sunshine.”
Or…you could print the song study as a handout for your YW or RS class and share the video with them.
Watch the brand new music video for “Dancing in the Rain”
Have a great week!
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