It's Raining, It's Pouring

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"It's Raining, It's Pouring"
Nursery rhyme

"It's Raining, It's Pouring" is an English language nursery rhyme and children's song. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 16814.[1]


The first two lines of this rhyme can be found in The Little Mother Goose, published in the US in 1912.[2] The melody is associated with A Tisket, A Tasket and What Are Little Boys Made Of?[3]

The earliest known audio recording of the song was made in 1939 in New York by anthropologist and folklorist Herbert Halpert and is held in the Library of Congress.[4] Charles Ives added musical notes 1939,[citation needed] and a version of it was copyrighted in 1944 by Freda Selicoff.[5][6]

The poem goes as follows:[7]

It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring,
He bumped his head and went to bed,
And couldn't get up in the morning.


It has been suggested that the verse is a "classic description" of a head injury ("bumped his head"), followed by a lucid interval and an inability to resume normal activity ("didn't get up in the morning").[7] Andrew Kaye in Essential Neurosurgery suggested that, in regard to the first verse at least, that the rhyme is an interpretation of an accidental death ("didn't get up in the morning"; indicating that no attempt or ability to get up was made).[7]


  1. ^ "English Folk Dance and Song Society: The National Organisation for the Development of the Folk Arts". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  2. ^ Anon, The Little Mother Goose (1912, Dodd, Mead & Company, 3rd edn., 1918), p. 169.
  3. ^ Hayes, Bruce P.; MacEachern, Margaret (1998). "Quatrain Form in English Folk Verse". Language. 74 (3): 480–481. doi:10.2307/417791. ISSN 0097-8507. JSTOR 417791. Retrieved 24 May 2020. Our folk song database includes no instances of the parallel long-last construction GG4G, but we know of three of them from our childhoods. Ex: [What are little boys made of] is one (The others are 'It's Raining, It's Pouring' and 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket, A Green and Yellow Basket')
  4. ^ "It's raining, it's pouring". Library of Congress. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  5. ^ Henderson, C. W. (2008). The Charles Ives Tunebook. Indiana University Press. p. 141.
  6. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions. Library of Congress, Copyright Office. 1944. p. 1362. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Kaye, Andrew H. (2009). Essential Neurosurgery. John Wiley & Sons. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-4051-4817-7. Retrieved 24 May 2020.