Only Happy When It Rains

Album: Garbage (1995)
Charted: 29 55
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This is about enjoying being depressed, similar to a country song by Patty Loveless which features the lyric, "You Can Feel Bad If It Makes You Feel Better." When the members of Garbage met for the first time, they found that they shared a love for dark music.
  • In a 1995 interview with Addicted to Noise, Steve Marker, the band's guitarist, said, "It's really just us poking fun of ourselves... We're poking fun at the alternate rock angst, wearing your heart on your sleeve thing and at ourselves for writing such dark songs."

    This is a similar sentiment to the sarcasm behind The Smith's 1984 single "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."
  • Singer Shirley Manson is from Scotland, where it rains frequently. She thinks of the song as an example of the Scots' self-deprecating humor.
  • This song was written somewhat spur-of-the-moment when the band was sitting around playing acoustic guitars. It started with the line, "I'm only happy when it rains," and was built around the opening lyric.
  • Garbage drummer Butch Vig sees this song as "an homage to The Jesus And Mary Chain."
  • Samuel Bayer directed the music videos for this song and "Stupid Girl." He started off as a painter, bringing a very unconventional approach to videos.
  • This was used in the 2019 movie Captain Marvel in a scene set in 1995 where Captain Marvel steals a motorcycle.

Comments: 9

  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnCool song, Shirley looks absolutely stunning in the video.
  • Tori from Houston, Txdude i really didnt like garbage when i waz younger but now i like LOVE THEM they are so cool it sucks like hardly nybody i know knows who they r exept my bffl. my fav song by garbage iz Not My Idea i luv that song but this 1 rox my sox off 2!!
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtI have severe depression and it can get very, very bad. This is one song that describes depression SO well.
  • Alex from Madrid, Spain"Pour your misery down on me...". Obvious sexual reference!
  • Matthew from LeedsThis song describes this time in my life! Never before has a song got my emotions so true, i am happy im depressed, and i am riding high upon a deep depression. Well done Garbage! Excellent song!
  • Lyzette from Moorpark, Cai hate this song. it is so annoying repetitive. and not even in a cutesy sing-along way. i love the band and Shirley Manson is very pretty and has a kickass voice and everything.....i just don't think this is one of their best songs, so to speak.
  • Elly from Columbus, OhI love this song & i love the dark lyrics
  • Tania from Auckland, New ZealandGarbage is one of my favourite bands and this has to be one of their best songs. Its a great song to identify with.
  • Heidi from Rohnert Park, CaMy absolute favorite Garbage song! I saw them perform in San Francisco a couple of years ago, and this tune brought down the house!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' Albums

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Band Names

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."