The Paul McCartney Project

Too Much Rain

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Chaos and Creation in the Backyard Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2005

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Too Much Rain” is a song by Paul McCartney and is the seventh track on his 2005 album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. The song was recorded at George Martin’s Air Studios in central London with producer Nigel Godrich. It was inspired by the theme to the 1936 film Modern Times, written by Charlie Chaplin and commonly known as “Smile” (lyrics were added to Smile in 1954 by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons).

The lyrics of “Too Much Rain” concern hope in the face of adversity (“Laugh when your eyes are burning/Smile when your heart is filled with pain…”). In addition to “Smile,” McCartney has said the song was also inspired by his then-wife, Heather Mills McCartney, who had “a lot of tough times in her life.”


From an interview of Paul by Gary Crowley (2005 UK promotional only interview CD, recorded July 2005 at Air Studios in London ; full interview available on Chronicles in the Backyard Disc 1):

Too Much Rain comes next. Where did this song come from?

The actual inspiration for Too Much Rain is Charlie Chaplin’s song Smile. Which he wrote: not many people know he wrote it, you normally think of him as a comedian, but I was always amazed to hear he’d written that you know, beautiful song. Good old Charlie wrote it. I think it was for a film, you know Modern Times, or something was it? It’s a great song and the idea of Smile (sings) Smile even though your heart is breaking Smile when your heart is breaking do do. That’s a nick, a direct pinch from that so it’s ‘Laugh when your eyes are burning  Smile when you’re doing this and Sigh when  you’re that’.. So it was really that it was Hints for feeling horrible, you know when you’re really down this song could get you up. You know remind you as the Smile song does to just sort of push through it, feel good cos it’ll be alright. So that was that. And er I think also in some way I know I was thinking of my missus Heather who’s had lots of rough times in her life, and the chorus just sort of says ‘It’s not right in one life, Too much rain’ . So that was kind of inspiration and you know I’m never that specific I would never say that’s exactly what its about and it then widens out and its for everyone who’s had just too much in their lives to cope with. And that applies to an awful lot of people. But that was it, it was really just a sort of helpful song.

Last updated on December 3, 2014


Laugh when your eyes are burning
Smile when your heart is filled with pain
Sigh as you brush away your sorrow
Make a vow
That it's not going to happen again
It's not right, in one life
Too much rain

You know the wheels keep turning
Why do the tears run down your face
We used to hide away our feelings
But for now
Tell yourself it won't happen again
It's not right, in one life
Too much rain

It's too much for anyone
Too hard for anyone
Who wants, a happy and peaceful life
You've got to learn to laugh

Smile when you're spinning round and round
Sigh as you think about tomorrow
Make a vow
That you're going to be happy again

It's all right, in your life
No more rain

It's too much for anyone
Too hard, for anyone
Who wants, a happy and peaceful life
You've got to learn to laugh

Officially appears on

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Official album • Released in 2005

3:24 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Fender stratocaster electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Maracas, Martin 12 string guitar, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Schmidt autoharp, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Pure McCartney

Official album • Released in 2016

Studio version

Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

Studio version



Unofficial album

3:19 • Outtake

Chronicles in the Backyard Disc 3

Unofficial album • Released in 2006

4:16 • Radio show

Recording :
Jul 28, 2005
Studio :
Abbey Road Studio 2

Chronicles in the Backyard Disc 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2006

2:19 • Rough mix

Chaos And Creation In The Backyard - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:24 • Studio version

Give Us That Knowing Wink - Official Rarities - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:54 • Studio version • [live 7-28-05]

Live performances

“Too Much Rain” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played

Sold On Song

Jul 27, 2005 • United Kingdom • London • Abbey Road Studios • Radio show


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Michael Johnson 2 years ago

No other song in my life has ever helped me in any situation, except this one. I've never been fully affected by a song's lyrics, but when I finally went to a bad place and life finally caught up to me after 50 years, I accidentally found this song. Strangely, even as a Paul McCartney fan, I'd given up on Paul after Press in 1986 and sporadically purchased his music since then - Flaming Pie and Flowers In The Dirt being the only two albums I really listened to.

But in early 2018 life finally crumbled around me for the first time and I stumbled on this song accidentally going through my music collection and, with no explanation, played it because of the title. Since then life has improved and this song remains one of the reasons why I'm still alive. And I've made my amends with Paul and his music and began intense playing sessions of albums I had missed since Flaming Pie and now realize I've been terribly wrong all these years by giving up on Paul. Some of the greatest songs I've heard come from post-Flaming Pie. And, in addition to that, I have all of those amazing songs post-Beatles I've always loved and listened to.

If I met Paul in person I'd have to thank him for the soundtrack to my life as a child up through my teens and now thank you for pulling me out of the worst time of my life.

"Too Much Rain" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I rank it up there with "Imagine", "Hey Jude", "Eleanor Rigby", "A Day In A Life", "Here, There and Everywhere" - among others.

The PaulMcCartney Project 2 years ago

Hi Michael, thanks for this testimony - that's the beauty of McCartney's songs, to follow you through life's lows & highs !! Thanks.