Rainy Days and Mondays


Rainy Days and Mondays (m. Roger Nichols, w. Paul Williams)

From Songfacts.com (link fixed, 10/15/2022):

Paul Williams and Roger Nichols (2)Sometimes song lyrics are written on the fly, and that was the case with a line in this song. Says Williams:

“On ‘Rainy Days And Mondays’ Chuck Kay, who was head of publishing at A&M, said, ‘That’s a perfect song for The 5th Dimension, let’s play it for them.’ I said, ‘Well, there are a couple of lines that aren’t done yet.’ He said, ‘You’ll finish it in the car.’ So in the car going over there, I came up with a fill line, which was ‘What I’ve got they used to call the blues.’ I didn’t have that line done yet, so I wrote it as just a quick fill line, because I wanted to mention the blues, but it was such a hackneyed expression, ‘I’ve got the blues.’ So I just wrote, ‘What I’ve got they used to call the blues.’ And it actually became my favorite line in the song. I think it’s the best line in the song. I met Johnny Mercer once at A&M Records, and he sat down and I introduced myself, ‘Paul Williams,’ and he shook my hand. And he walked back into the studio where he was mixing, then he stuck his head back out into the hall and he went, ‘Paul Williams, ‘what I’ve got they used to call the blues,’ that Paul Williams?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ It was funny. It was one of the great moments of my life, to meet Johnny Mercer, who I think was the lyricist’s lyricist.”

1971 Rainy Days and Mondays-Carpenters-AM 1260-sleeve(front)1971 Rainy Days and Mondays-Carpenters-AM-1260-S


Wikipedia says of the single by the Carpenters:

“Rainy Days and Mondays”…went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and it was the duo’s fourth #1 song on the Adult Contemporary singles chart.[1] However, the song failed to chart in the United Kingdom until it went to #63 in a reissue there in 1993.

The single was issued on the A&M (US) label on 23 April 1971, according to 45cat.com, under the following three catalog numbers (variants found on first pressings from three different plants): AM-1260-S, AM-1260, and 1260-S, backed with “Saturday.” Both sides were arranged by Richard Carpenter. This recording of “Rainy Days and Mondays” also became the first track on the album Carpenters, released on 14 May 1971.

Carpenters c.1971 (1)Karen Carpenter sings, 1971 (2)



from an unidentified TV show, c.1971


Live at the BBC, September(?) 1971


(below) music video with a copyright date of 1985, provided by CarpentersVEVO —  I’ve thus far been unable to identify the source of the lip-sync performance (from about :44 on), which is evidently from the early 1970s.


1971 You've Got a Friend-Andy Williams-Columbia KC 30797 (back)

Andy Williams — from his 1971 album You’ve Got a Friend, (US) Columbia KC 30797


Sarah Vaughan — from her 1972 album Feelin’ Good, (US) Mainstream Records MRL 379

.1972 Carol Burnet-featuring If I Could Write a Song, Columbia C 31048 (Mono), CS 31048 (Stereo)

Carol Burnett — from the 1972 LP Carol Burnett – featuring If I Could Write A Song, Columbia C 31048 (Mono), CS 31048 (Stereo)


freda-payne-ebony-cover-january-1973 (1)-g50

Freda Payne — from her 1973 album Reaching Out, (US) Invictus KZ 32493


Sarah Vaughan — from her 1973 double LP “Live” in Japan, Mainstream Records ‎MRL 2 401


Paul Williams — from his 1974 LP Here Comes Inspiration, (US) A&M Records ‎SP-3606

In the first video, the lyric transcriber, knowingly or not, incorporates Williams’ peculiar pronunciation of a couple of words: “Hangin'” sounds like “Hang-on,” and Walkin'” comes out as “Walk-on.”



2007-Yuru Chika- Island Moments ~ Songs of Carpenters ~, GNCL-1145-c1a

Yuri Chika — from the album Island Moments ~ Songs of Carpenters ~, (Japan) GNCL-1145, released in November 2007


peacejoytown — fingerstyle guitar solo, evidently performed on a Yamaha SILENT guitar, uploaded to YouTube on 29 December 2007


Pat Metheny — from his album What It’s All About, released on the Nonesuch label on 14 June 2011

I presume that the album title comes from the Paul Williams lyric to this song:

What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it’s all about


Jon Stafford — live performance on Roland AT90S, uploaded on 1 November 2011


Paul Williams — Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival at the Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, TN, 29 March 2012


Sharón Clark — live at NYC’s Metropolitan Room — June 2013

Sharón Clark – vocal
Paul Carr – sax
Chris Grasso – piano
Michael Bowie – bass
Lenny Robinson – drums


Karen Carpenter dolls (1)_______________________

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