Outsider Anthems: ‘Rainy Day’ by Mike and the Moonpies

by Clayton Edwards

Here at Outsider, we know that the best foundation for a good life is hard work. On the other side of the coin, a good life makes every moment on the clock worth it. If you know you’re working to support your family while building something for the future, those long shifts start getting easier to deal with.

That’s why “Rainy Day” by Mike and the Moonpies is this week’s Outsider Anthem. It’s a song that talks about all the little things in life that make the hard work worth it while still staring life’s hardships in the face. From feeding the family and counting the days until vacation to keeping your dreams alive, this song touches all the bases.

Mike and the Moonpies included “Rainy Day” on their 2021 record, One to Grow On. Honestly, the entire album could make its way into the Outsider Anthems series. Mike Harmeier said it best during my interview with him earlier this year: “I think this record is about overcoming [life’s obstacles] and just being satisfied with what you’ve got and what you’ve accomplished and knowing you can still work harder to get a little further.”

“Rainy Day” takes that concept and distills it down into its purest form. Lyrics like, “Tryin’ to keep the dream alive. / Kicking it into overdrive / And burnin’ it at both ends. / It takes a lot of Tanqueray / And a little bit of take-home pay / Just to keep the wolves away,” made this one an instant favorite.

Funny Name, Seriously Good Music

Mike and the Moonpies are a Texas-based five-piece band that truly encapsulates the regional sound. They pack every tune with plenty of twangy guitars, more pedal steel than you can shake a stick at, and a rhythm section that would make a dead man tap his toes. On top of that, their overall songwriting is top-notch. Their lyrics tell stories, paint pictures, and resonate deeply with the Outsider spirit.

Mike and the Moonpies have been honing their skills as a unit for over a decade. Their first album, The Real Country, dropped back in 2010. Their eighth album, One to Grow On, hit shelves in August of this year. When they aren’t in the studio kicking out solid country gold, they’re burning up the highway and packing clubs and dancehalls.

Keepin’ the Dream Alive

Throughout most of the song, “Rainy Day” focuses on the personal trials and triumphs of a working man. It goes from working the 9 to 5 grind to stay afloat to looking forward to having some much-needed time off. The chorus, though, ties things up in a nice bow. “Blame it on my blood or on my destiny / But I do my work with a willing hand. / I wake up when the rooster crows / Head home when the whistle blows. / And try to save a little dough / For a rainy day.”

However, in the last verse, Mike and the Moonpies pull the family dynamic into the narrative. “Thank the Lord for both the kids. / They don’t know the things we did / To keep all of the fightin’ hid / And a fan to the flame.”

The final chorus changes a bit, including the narrator’s wife in the equation. It ends with “And one of these days / We’ll make our getaway.” Thinking about that getaway goes a long way in making one’s hands a little more willing when the alarm goes off in the morning.

The next time you’re counting the minutes until quittin’ time, keep this song and the rewards of your work in mind. Knowing that it’s all worth it makes those minutes tick by a little faster.

Listen to Mike and the Moonpies

If you liked “Rainy Day” I can’t recommend the entirety of One to Grow On enough. Start with the opening track and lead single “Paycheck to Paycheck.” Then, give “Growing Pains” and “Burn Out” a listen. You’ll be glad you did.