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James Taylor - Fire and Rain - Lyrics Meaning

James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," was recorded for his second album, "Sweet Baby James." The album was released in February 1970, but the single didn't hit the airwaves for another year. Once released, it quickly shot up to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end

I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend

But I always thought that I'd see you again

During a 2005 interview on National Public Radio, Taylor indicated that the song was written in three parts. He wrote the first verse about the sudden death of his friend Suzanne Schnerr. At the time of her death, Taylor was in London working on his first album with Apple Records. His friends thought the tragic news could distract him from his big break, so they held off on telling him.

The second verse of the song details Taylor's battle with depression and his addiction to drugs.

In the third verse, he takes a look back down the road that led him to fame and fortune. That verse contains a reference to the `Flying Machine,' which was the band James Taylor worked with before he got his big break with Apple Records and Paul McCartney.

Some have hypothesized that the `Flying Machine' reference was about an airplane crash that took the life of one of Taylor's close friends - a theory he has steadfastly denied.

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