Guns N’ Roses – November Rain (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

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Strutting away from “Sweet Child O ‘Mine” we land on another epic Guns N’ Roses ballad. The rock band’s second best-selling single to date is “November Rain”, although it was crowned one of the most depressing songs in musical history!

Axl Rose wrote the lyrics to “November Rain” for their double album “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” released in September 1991. The song is part of the first album. The original version of the song would be a staggering 25 minute ballad, but later reduced to its current 9 minute version.

“November Rain” went on to become one of the best-performing and best-selling Guns N ‘Roses singles of all time. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also makes history as the longest song to feature in the top 10 of the charts above.

The music video for “November Rain” is an icon in itself. MTV says that the group was costed around $ 1.5 million to produce the video in 1991. Slash admitted that “‘November Rain’ was too much, just too much involved” on the aspect of video production. However, the clip won the award for “Best Cinematography” at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards and also landed the coveted “Video Vanguard Award”. It’s also one of the few videos on YouTube to have crossed the infamous billion-view mark. Watch the video below.


Download the single “November Rain” on Apple Music and Amazon
Buy the album “Greatest Hits” by Guns N ‘Roses on Apple Music and Amazon

The music video for “November Rain” stars Axl Rose’s girlfriend, American actress and model, Stephanie Seymour. The video depicts a scene from a wedding between Stephanie and Axl Rose where Slash is the witness. Most parts of the video are dedicated to fond memories of the wedding; happy and dreamy. Sudden rain descends on the outdoor ceremony and the stage immediately switches to Stephanie’s funeral. Rain is used as a symbol of sadness, chaos and sorrow. Axl Rose and Stephanie Seymour broke up in real life in 1993.

Meaning of “November rain”

the first verse from “November Rain” sings about those unstable feelings of being in a new relationship. There is a lot of trial and error; there are many wounds to be healed from past experiences. So it is natural to have feelings “held back” at first. Axl Rose sees these feelings in his girlfriend’s eyes and consoles her by telling her that he has the same feelings.

the Chorus tells a hard and cold truth common to every human being; “nothing lasts eternally.” Despite being a rockstar of the greatest nature, Axl Rose understood the idea that nothing, not even fame, fortune and love, lasts forever. At some point, we all have to give in to the one law that is constant in this changing universe. Whatever feelings of distress she has experienced in her past relationships will eventually change. She will make new memories with him. She will heal with him. Hearts are changing too, for better or for worse.

Holding a candle is a universal symbol of mourning. It could also be a metaphor for holding onto someone or a feeling. When the dark days (rain) take hold, it’s hard to hold on to the things we love. It is a test of strength and bond. When he does not receive the love he offers in return, it will only be a matter of time when the rain extinguishes the candle flame. The instability of her lover could cause the fire between them to go out forever.

In the second verse of “November Rain”, Axl Rose still tries to console his worried mind. He reminds her that they’ve been in this tug-of-war for some time in search of a cure. But neither of them really went anywhere in the relationship, mostly because of their insecurity. It’s killing the guy inside.

the second chorus asks the girl to be in or out of the relationship. This feeling of “stuck in the middle” is not a position that no lover wants to be. Axl urges the girl to love him wholeheartedly or tell him otherwise so that he can get rid of his pain in the cold November rain.

The words of the chorus see Axl Rose suggest to his girlfriend that a little time apart might help her figure out what’s important and what isn’t. He thinks that maybe she should lose what she has to realize the value of what she has lost.

In the bridge, Axl Rose admits that it’s not an easy thing to open your heart to someone in this cruel world. Everyone is there to look for you, and the worst part is that they wear cute masks. But if they were to mend their hearts and move on, that would be the best thing of their life forever for them.

Watch Guns N ‘Roses and Elton John perform “November Rain” live at the 1992 MTV VMAs

In the third verse from “November Rain”, Axl Rose is still optimistic about their love. He knows that at some point her fears will subside and she will have a new place in his heart for love. When she stops thinking about the people who have hurt her in the past and when she sees that Axl has been holding a candle for her all this time, then she will be open to love.

the third choir of the song is even more upbeat and forward-looking. Axl Rose knows they go through dark days and nights. But he is convinced that even the rain must stop at some point. The good thing about “change” is that even bad times are subject to change. It is therefore about realigning our own perspectives and attitudes to face difficult times.

the outro of the song is a repeat of Axl’s cry for his girlfriend to depend on someone and seek help. Whether it’s to get over her grief or motivate her for the future, she needs someone’s help. If he’s not the one she can count on, Axl wants her to look for someone to help him. Axl Rose justifies this claim by attempting to generalize that everyone is looking for help at one point or another. This level of pleading from Axl for his girlfriend to seek help with her predicament sparked the idea that the girlfriend’s death in the video was due to suicide. She has to go through a lot of things in her head and Axl couldn’t get her to open up to him. Those damn feelings in anyone’s head can break them from the inside out.

Let us hear your thoughts on Guns N ‘Roses single “November Rain” and what this song means to you. Leave a comment below and share this article with your friends.

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