Rain Rain Go Away

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""Rain Rain Go Away""
Rain Rain Go Away 1 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg
Lia Wallace Denslow's illustrations for a variant of Rain Rain Go Away, from a 1901 edition of Mother Goose
Nursery rhyme
Published17th century or earlier

"Rain Rain Go Away" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19096.

Lyrics[edit]

There are few versions and variations of this rhyming couplet. The most common modern version is:

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.[1]

Origins[edit]

Similar rhymes can be found in many societies, including ancient Greece.[citation needed] The modern English language rhyme can be dated to at least to the 17th century when James Howell in his collection of proverbs noted:

Rain rain go to Spain: fair weather come again.[1]

A version very similar to the modern version was noted by John Aubrey in 1687 as used by "little children" to "charm away the Rain...":

Rain Rain go away,
Come again on Saturday.[1]

A wide variety of alternatives have been recorded including: "Midsummer day", "washing day", "Christmas Day" and "Martha's wedding day".[1]

In the mid-19th century James Orchard Halliwell collected and published the version:

Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day
Little Arthur wants to play.[2]

In a book from the late 19th century, the lyrics are as follows:

Rain, Rain,
Go away;
Come again,
April day;
Little Johnny wants to play.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 360.
  2. ^ J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps. The Nursery Rhymes of England: Obtained Principally from Oral Tradition (London: J.R.Smith, 1843), p. 214.
  3. ^ A. Beljame, "First English Reader" (Paris, France: Librairie Hachhete, 1882), p.109.