Are you ready for more memories? Maybe you remember singing this song. “It’s raining, it’s pouring, The old man is snoring, went to bed, bumped his head and couldn’t get up ’til morning.” As a kid, I remember that during a pouring-down rain, my brothers and I would sit on our home’s small screened-in porch, and sing this song at the top of our lungs. The reward came when the rain stopped and the sun came out. If it had been a cloud-burst then a stream of rain water ran down the street, alongside the curbing, and mom would sometimes let us jump barefooted in it.
They were carefree days for us kids, but while we were outside playing, with nary a
care in the world, our parents were struggling to stay afloat financially. That’s pretty much been so with most young families, there were times when we wrote a check for groceries on next week’s pay check. (That was before credit cards.) This morning I feel like the old man who bumped his head and stayed in bed. I am usually up at the crack of dawn, but today is different. Maybe because it’s raining outside, threatening to spoil all planned activities. Of course, rain isn’t always a bad thing, like the song writer wrote, “How in the heck, can I wash my neck, if it aint gonna rain no more.” (excuse the bad language.)
Oftentimes I’d hear my mother say. “when it rains it pours.” She was referring to the fact that when trouble came, it was followed by more. With rain, the skies darken and the barometer drops and people’s heads’ ache, their bones, too. Just the lack of sunshine affects some people poorly, yet others tell us they love rainy days. According to the Bible, in the beginning it didn’t rain, rather moisture came up from the earth. And this happened during the night. Oftentimes I have wished that it would rain during the night and not during the day. Some think that in the beginning a water canopy surrounded the earth and it protected everyone from the harmful effects of the sun and because this no longer, is our life spans are shortened. The rains came with God’s punishment on a sinful world. Sounds as if His original plan was better for us. Just recently I was reading how we can provoke God’s anger. This was an example.
Back in the 1940’s Ella Fitzgerald sang “Into each life some rain must fall, but too
much is falling in mine. Into each heart some tears must fall but someday the sun will shine.” Again, the lyrics to this song made rain synonymous with trouble. But when the weather changes and the sun shines, everything looks better. Ella lived from 1917-1996, had a fifty year vocal career and was dubbed the “First Lady Of Song.” She was a jazz singer and was raised by an aunt in Harlem, a black neighborhood rich with jazz music and was also known as the “Queen Of Jazz”. Her vocal range spanned three octaves. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation.
There are many songs about rain. I’m sure you’re thinking of them, including Gene Kelly’s rendition of “Singin’ In the Rain.” Getting back to my mother’s comment that “when it rains, it pours.” it actually can work both ways. Like the old hymn writer wrote “there shall be showers of blessing and for these showers we plead.”