*12.12-TRACTION IN THE RAIN (David Crosby)

David Crosby


It's hard enough, I know
To find the strength to go
Back to where it all began.

It's hard to enough to gain
Any traction in the rain.
You know it's hard for me to understand.

        Hard to find a way
        To get through another city day
        Without thinking about
        Gettin' out.


Now the strangest thing I've seen
Was a t-shirt turning green
In envy of a turtle dove.

The dove's lady was the cause
Or maybe it was the olive branch she held in her claws.
Or maybe he could see they were in love.



Traction in the Rain combines multiple acoustic guitars and autoharp to suggest sheets of rain falling. The engineer, Steve Barncard, writes in a track by track commentary that the autoharp was compressed “beyond industry standards” in the spirit of psychedelic experimentation in order to provide the song’s unique sound. After the chorus a wash of harmonies with Graham Nash is added. The lyric is understandable through the first chorus, but when Crosby starts singing about a t-shirt turning green / In envy of a turtle dove I have difficulty following his peace & love sentiment. I allow my attention instead to dissolve into the harmonies and long restful coda so relaxed that it is understandable that one can’t find the intellectual traction to move, to remember or plan ahead. I feel safe & dry in bad weather, as if given the perfect excuse to refrain from anything that requires struggle through another city [silly] day.