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4.18-LITTLE CLOUD (Incredible String Band)

Incredible String Band

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     [Intro: How sweet to be a cloud
     Floating in the blue!]

Lying awake, late the other night
Heard above me a trembling.
I looked up, it was a little cloud,
From which a gold string was dangling.
You know, I gave the string a little pull,
Just to see what was on the other end.
Just then a voice came down to me, says,
"Hey, now, don't you want to be my friend?

     Float with me to distant lands,
     wondrous and fair(2x)

     [Scat]

You see I'm just a happy little cloud.
I laugh and float and sing my song.
But the other clouds don't like me none.
They say I am behaving very wrong.
You see a cloud's supposed to be sad,
To cry and weep and tear its hair and all.
And don't matter how hard I try,
I can't get the first little tear to fall."

     [Chorus & Scat]

I said, "Hey, I like you little cloud,
You are a nice little fellow, yes."
"You making some kind of a joke?" said the cloud,
"Now can't you see I'm wearing such a pretty dress?
You see I am the prettiest little chick cloud
That you'd find anywhere up above.
I just dropped in on you awhile
To see if you could give me some kind of love."

     [Chorus & Scat]

Just then the chief cloud come into view
And says, "Hey, girl, now what you think you're doing there?
I told you so many times before.
You just don't seem at all to care.
You know you should be floating up above, now
Don't let me catch you down here again."
And as my cloud rolled out of view
There come failing down a gentle shower of rain.
Happy rain come failing down,
Red, green, blue and golden.
And every drop, as it fell, it smiled
And, throwing back its head, began singing,

     [Chorus & Scat]


The children’s song of the Little Cloud begins with a plainsong quoting A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, a favorite of some psychedelic lyricists. Then ISB begins the song proper, a simple folk guitar repetition accompanied by bongos. It’s a strongly plucked hippity-hop sort of rhythm, similar to that used by Heron on his Hedgehog’s Song. The chorus is followed by a distinctive rapid scat each time it comes around. Near the end of the song, when the rain is falling down, a spoons-like high percussion instrument is introduced and on the last chorus and scat, it sounds like a woman’s voice may have been added.

The lyric is a fantasy meant to entertain children, but it does follow a story line, in which the poor “chick cloud” finds out how to cry and be what is true to her nature by falling in love with the singer. Her tears sound happy to him, for she is glad now to be a real cloud. The lesson for the kids in the commune? I hope it wasn’t that girls are made to cry by boys and it’s good for them. Rather it seems that though a cloud is made to rain, it doesn’t mean rain should make you sad. The singer points to the rainbow colors in the rain and how it smiles. It’s not always tears and sorrow. The message is much like John Lennon’s Rain, though the imagined state of innocence in the audience is different.

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