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Interpretation of “Rain again today” by Dimitra Galani

For this entry I have picked a deeply emotional and rather political song, whose translated title is Rain again today (Βροχή και σήμερα). It is performed by Dimitra Galani (Δήμητρα Γαλάνη): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJeQO_3HBsU. The video is not official, but it is serviceable.

Below are the original lyrics, my translation of them, and some further commentary.

Βροχή και σήμερα

Εμρηνεία:  Δήμητρα Γαλάνη
Στίχοι:    Λευτέρης Παπαδόπουλος
Μουσική:   Γιάννης Σπανός


Βροχή και σήμερα, βροχή στη στέγη μας,
βροχή στην πόρτα μας, ατέλειωτη βροχή
Και εσύ στα σύνορα, σ’ ένα χαράκωμα
Και γύρω ο θάνατος, ατέλειωτη βροχή

Εγώ στα σύνορα, σε κάποιο γράμμα μου
Βαθιά στη χλαίνη σου, γλυκά να σε πονώ
Και συ στο σπίτι μας, παντού τα χνάρια σου
Παντού τα μάτια σου, πληγές στο δειλινό

Βροχή και σήμερα κι ούτε ένα γράμμα σου
Κι ούτε ένα μήνυμα στον μαύρο ουρανό
Φυλάξου αγέρα μου, φυλάξου αγρύπνια μου
Φυλάξου αγόρι μου, από τον κεραυνό
Rain again today

Singer:  Dimitra Galani
Lyrics:  Lefteris Papadopoulos
Music:   Yiannis Spanos


Rain again today, rain on our roof,
rain at our door, endless rain
And you at the border, in a trench
And death all around, endless rain

I at the border, in one of my letters
Deep in your coat, gently hurting for you
And you at our home, your footprints everywhere
Your eyes everywhere, wounds in the evening

Rain again today and not a single letter from you
And not even a message in this dark sky
Hide my wind, hide my vigil
Hide my boy, from the thunder

The song is about the forced separation of loved ones in times of warfare. The poetic first person likely is a parent figure who worries about the fate of their child. The “boy”, as it is described, must be a conscript who was sent on the front lines as fodder to the cannons. An ever-pertinent theme, it seems… The rain can be a symbol for the prevalent sorrow, though it also serves as a reminder of the countless souls that perish on the battlefield or suffer irreparable damage from the conflict.

The poetic “I” tells us about the struggles of an individual. The sense of powerlessness to stop the unfolding calamity, the constant fear of losing a precious one to a futile cause, the unbearable pain and desperation that violence causes… Yet through the eyes of this person we can infer the scale of the disaster. Every parent, friend, and lover is put in this predicament of not receiving a word from their boy as the death count keeps increasing.

We glorify war and we casually dismiss its horrors as some necessary evils of an otherwise fortuitous process. Just think about those in history who are known as “… the Great”. They stand atop countless bodies. “Endless rain”, as the poet puts it. Yet they are remembered as benefactors because they forged empires; empires that we are indoctrinated into considering good in advance; empires whose dominion always depends on the latent use of fire and steel.

Rain again today. It will be the same tomorrow and the day after. Your boys were taken away from you. The neighbourhoods are left silent. Gone are the smiles and the games at the parks. You all cry helplessly while some maniac is basking in the glory of imperialism. Where does this stop, friend? At what point do we coordinate our efforts in resistance to the status quo? Why must we hate our neighbours and fight for the inane goals of a state apparatus? Is there really no other option than to butcher each other? Did wisdom truly forsake us?

Sure, there will be an intelligentsia that has a vested interest in the “rain”. The apologists of a future regime will write about the grandeur of yesteryears, with their visionary leaders, and their lofty values. They will simply obfuscate and filter out all the gory details that otherwise delineate the face of the establishment; the repulsive face of an arrogant authority.