Rain Song

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, my fellow schoolmates and I were used to seeing rainy days throughout most of the year. My informant here, a fellow elementary school student of mine, remembers that every time that we would have recess in elementary school (1st through 5th grade), we would sing a song to make the rain go away:

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day.

We Want to Play Outside, Come Again Another Day”

He remembers, we would sing this song essentially every day that it rained. Of course, the weather would only clear up very rarely, and most likely not due to our singing of this song. Nevertheless, on the rare occasion that the rain would stop soon after, we would all attribute it to the magic of the song and we would all vehemently defend its legitimacy. On days where it wouldn’t work, we would often attribute it to our lack of singing it correctly or not enough people to make it work, etc. My informant remembers days where we would be sad or he would even cry because the song didn’t work. He remembered thinking that he was the ‘special piece’ of the puzzle, and knew that the song wouldn’t work if he weren’t there. He thought that his friends needed him for the song to be successful.

I believe that this song is mostly known around rainy and wet areas where it would likely be utilized and passed along more often and efficiently, such as Portland. I think it may have some relation to a variety of rain dances that were used centuries ago to have rain fall to nourish the crops. I believe it is a more recent rendition as children saw the rain dance, and believed that if one could make it rain, then they could sing to stop it.