Guns 'n Roses: November Rain Meaning
Song Released: 1992
November Rain Lyrics
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November...
zack.evans Sep 21st, 2010 9:59pm report
November Rain is a song about love, pain and fear. The opening statement clearly says that the narrator sees the love in his partner’s eyes, restrained by a fear that she may be hurt. However, the love is there and the narrator feels it just as well. Now, one could extrapolate that these characters have had experience with pain, probably with each other. This is due to the fact that this is a relationship that has lasted for some time (echoed soon in the next verse, “…such a long, long time”). We are now introduced to our title phrase. November Rain is a metaphor for the troubled patches of a relationship, obviously linking the dreary, sad feelings of the two. And this “candle” is love. It’s hard to hold on to love with feelings of sadness and pain in your heart. The narrator offers that if they were truly in love, that they should simply “lay it on the line” in order for his spirit to rest on the matter. Otherwise he will be damned to walk through the November rain.
Now we reach the B section. Just as the melody and structure changes, the lyrics contrast here as well. Our narrator now decides to give his love space rather than beg for an admission of love, insightfully musing that “Everybody needs some time.” He continues to reassure her that though it is hard to get over the wounds of the past, we must learn to put these feelings behind us rather than dwell on them. Sometimes it feels that the whole world, “...even friends,” are evil, and will only cause you harm. One must realize though, that to be able to “heal” these wounds would make time itself only a charm.
The final reiteration of the title is accompanied by an optimistic verse. After fear, there is shadow. After blame there is love. There can be love despite darkness, so we can now see through the rain. Our hero implores his lover to put aside this darkness, and “find a way,” to love and happiness. After all that has happened, we see that nothing is capable of lasting forever. Neither love nor pain. Therefore, as sure as there is darkness, there will be light. Just euphoric love is fleeting, so are our times of despair.
“Nothing lasts forever, Even cold November rain.”
anonymous Jul 3rd, 2007 7:36pm report
The phrase "November Rain" is used throughout the song symbolizing a period of depression from a flawed relationship. The imagery of a cold rainy November day is a perfect parallel to these feelings, in my opinion. The last time he utters the phrase, the context changes a bit. "Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain." The lines leading up to it suggest that Axl believes that love can prevail in the end and whatever the problem was can be fixed. The fragments of their relationship left over from the damage can regroup and become whole again in his mind. Closing with a different reflection on the "November Rain" theme..."Nothing lasts forever, even cold November Rain." Axl ends the first act of the song with this optimistic mindset that bad times are not everlasting and they can both get through them.
anonymous Dec 9th, 2006 12:03am report
K I see how the first person got that interpretation but the real meaning is that he has a failed marriage. For instance "Do you need sometime all alone, do you need sometime on your own?". He's trying to give her space to try to save the relationship but it just won't work and he's trying to keep it alive but with all the problems they are having he can't. This is represented in the metaphor and title of the song "But it's hard to hold a candle, in the cold November rain".
anonymous Apr 21st, 2016 4:47pm report
"We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain, oo yeah
But love is always coming and love is always going
And no one's really sure who's lettin' go today...walking away"
If you've ever been in a long relationship that has gotten tired, that you thought could never be revived, that one or both of you gave up on, but didn't leave, and then one or both of you cheated on the other, and still didn't leave, and still wanted to reach back and find, grab, and hold on again to what you once had, and you're trying to figure out how to help the other person get to where you are, or you are both trying, but running into roadblocks occasionally, heartbreak, blame, mixed with hope, tenderness, and fragility.....well....I'm going through that right now. We are successful way more days than we fail, but the failures and setbacks still happen, and we get through them and have hope and tenderness and actual loving amidst the fragility. And pretty much every line of the song resonates, by itself and with the other lines....and I'm not even a fan of Guns N' Roses. Great piece of music, great lyrics.
anonymous Oct 16th, 2013 10:22pm report
I'm relating...after a bad break-up and months of questioning the two years I threw away I met someone I feel I'm falling in love with. Clearly love is pouring out of my eyes and heart for this new person but I'll pull it back sometimes...
afraid of giving my heart away again and getting hurt.
anonymous Oct 19th, 2012 10:22am report
i think this song is about a couple where the girl loves the guy more..but he is more into his friends and having fun ..so, he doesnt spend much time with her alone..not realising how deeply she loved him(thats why her love is refrained), and he is a person who needs a lot of space in the relationship, his time alone..and finally the girl gives up and commits suicide..so he finally understands how much she loved him..
anonymous Aug 11th, 2012 8:23pm report
You're all missing an important element. The November rain isn't a metaphor...it literally means the women who rain in from the beach. It's a southern cali expression, when the beach bunnies start looking for a place to shack up for the winter.
In the summertime, no strung out rocker like axl can compete with the surfers for girls, but in the fall, things are different.
It's axl rose saying, if you walk out now, ill just go play in the rain. (All of these women.)
anonymous Jan 12th, 2012 1:21pm report
I feel this song is about a relationship that has gotten hard and troubled. Times are difficult and stormy (Hence, November Rain)
I feel like one of the people in the relationship is prepared to allow the other to leave if thats what they want to do.
'Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone'
Maybe time apart will make the other realise that this love is ment to be. One is so sure that they are ment to be together that they will give the other the space that just might help them fall back in love.
'An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine'
Word have failed, Talking wont fix this relationship.Only time will tell if this loe is ment to be.
'I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame'
One blames the other, Maybe they cheated maybe the werent around but whatever it was i has hurt the other.
'So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain'
Love my find its way back to these two. Maybe it wont but the last line implys that one way or the other someone will end up happy.
anonymous Nov 30th, 2011 11:01pm report
I feel the song is about a troubled relationship. However it is diguised by such beauty in the melody as if in public they are trying to paint a perfect picture I feel that the guy has been unfaithful however they are giving it another chance yet the girl is so unsure of whether she can trust him it's 'love restrained'. As the story unfolds and the melody gets deeper this is where in reality other people are starting to guess that things are not all as they seem between the couple 'when even friends seem out to harm you' has the man cheated in the past with one of her friends she can't trust anyone. And then the drama unfolds as do you need some time on your own. Slash's guitar solo represents the whirlwind of events which eventually kill the relationship. If you look at the roses in the video you can see how they go from looking fresh and new to in the end haggard and dead with the colour draining which represents the life has finally being drained out from this relationship
anonymous May 12th, 2011 5:43pm report
Going through a failed marriage right now, and listening to this song just brings me to tears. Haven't heard this one in a couple years. Only one word to sum it up "beautiful"... wish the band was still together.
anonymous Sep 16th, 2010 9:35pm report
Basically my understanding is hes telling her he loves her and that he knows nothings perfect even relationships ... love isnt always perfect thats my take on it anyway :)
understandingmusic Jul 31st, 2010 7:30pm report
November Rain is a song about living for the moment and cherishing those who love you and those you love by being there for them.
When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
This particular verse, the opening verse, shows this message quite well. Axl is describing how people who love others sometimes restrain their feelings (or hold back their feelings) because they are scared of what may occurr should they be open. The song is trying to describe a situation to the listener where one person loves another, but is scared to open up, and faces the threat of losing a loved one because they were too scared to show their feelings.
anonymous Jun 2nd, 2010 6:14pm report
I feel like this song is about how their relationship is restrained from what happened in the past. Axl mentions in the song that if you take the time to lay it on the line I can rest my head just knowing that you were mine. He means that whenever she is able to let go of whatever is keeping her from loving him, then they would be able to have a better relationship. It sounds to me that the girl is really affected by whatever hurt her. Axl is trying to tell her to let go of the past......Wouldn't time be out to charm you? He means by forgiving and forgetting,you will probably get something good out of letting go. This song is about having to move on from the past and start a new beginning. If you were in a past relationship, and was wounded by it, it might affect you later on in the next relationship.I feel like axl is trying to say that the girl might be afraid to fall in the same pit like she did in her previous relationship. She doesn't want to get hurt again. I'm going in depth with this.I hope you guys get the point.
anonymous Mar 27th, 2010 3:10am report
It's a song about unrequited love. He wants her but he can't have her.
anonymous Nov 10th, 2009 11:38am report
Both of them have had a failed relationships in the past and are afraid of being hurt again 2nd phrase When it didn't last forever it was realized and caused a broken heart and A broken heart is a period in time of darkness associated with hurt and depression Both of them are trying to forget the past and he is willing to forget if she does 3rd It happens to everybody but ther is no way of knowing unless they try 4th If she does'nt tell him she'll forget the past so he can be at peace He will return to the hurt and depression 5th He tells her to take some time to think about it 6th Its hard even to trust your friends so you can start with us and time will make it better 7th Everybody needs time to think about it even me I know if you stop blaming the past and forget about it and give it a try I know you can love me Because even hurt and depression don't last forever
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
asterodera Jan 11th, 2009 1:32pm report
This song is as much beautiful as it is saddening. The way I've interpreted it is that a man's relationship with his partner is out of his hands and can see that things are going to an end, but despite his best efforts to re-kindle or reasure his partner that the stormy times won't last forever, it doesn't seem to be enough.
Some of the other interpretations of this song which I've read are different, but are certainly questionning mine.
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