The second track from Houses of the Holy is The Rain Song. It had the working title Slush because of its easy listening mock orchestral arrangement. The ballad was released on March 28, 1973 after George Harrison, who was a fan, told John Bonham that Led Zeppelin never wrote ballads. In tribute to this the opening chords of The Rain Son is from the easily recognizable first line from George Harrison penned The Beatles song Something.
The Rain Song is over seven minutes long. The song was originally constructed by Jimmy Page at his home in Plumpton, England because he had recently installed a Vista studio console that was partially made up from the Pye Mobile Studio that the group used at the 1970 Royal Albert Hall performance.
Page brought the completed melody arrangement to Robert Plant, who then wrote some lyrics. Plant considers these lyrics to be the best that he has ever written. To get the orchestral effect to the song John Paul Jones used a mellotron, while Page played a Danelectro guitar.
From late 1972 to 1977 Led Zeppelin immediately played The Rain Song right after The Song Remains the Same presenting the songs in the same chronological order as on the album. The setlist was organized in this manner because Page played his Gibson EDS-1275 double-necked guitar on both songs: the top, the 12-string neck, tuned to Standard tuning, for The Song Remains the Same, while using the alternate tuning Esus2 on the 6-string neck for the live performance of The Rain Song. This tuning is a step higher than what was used on the album, Dsus2 an "open page" alternative guitar tuning which required Plant to sing at a higher level.
THE RAIN SONG
This is the springtime of my loving - the second seasonI am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing- so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from time to time.
Talk Talk- I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go. I curse the gloom that set upon us...
But that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion and like the wind they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - a little rain must fall.