It's Raining

arr. Paul Jennings

Over the years, we have taken care to create interesting arrangements of many of the tunes that are featured in the most popular recorder methods, including our exciting Recorder Karate. You will find these in both Music K-8 and Recorder Classroom magazines. While this particular tune is in many methods, it is the fourth level tune (green belt) in Recorder Karate.

This old folk song was probably originally a nursery rhyme melody:

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

It was first mentioned in this country in a list of folk tunes known to the famous American composer, Charles Ives.

In this arrangement, we take this simple, repetitive song, and find interesting things to add to it as the arrangement progresses. We set up an ostinato in the low strings, which continues through much of the song. The string accompaniment gets gradually more complex, as do the optional percussion parts. You will note that we give you the option of two different accompaniment tracks: one with just strings and timpani (track 15), and one with all of the percussion (track 36). This allows you to play some or all of the percussion parts with your students.

Percussion - We include parts for a small triangle, hand drums (preferably not too large), bongos (played with sticks, opt.), and either cowbell or agogo bells. As some parts are easier than others, feel free to adapt any or all of them. You can also create your own simple parts for any instruments you have available. Our main suggestion is that you shouldn't make it too thick or you may bury everything else.

At bar 15, you will see new additions to the triangle part. The + tells you that the triangle should be played "open" (undamped), while the – tells you that the triangle should be damped with one hand while the other hand plays it. To do the part this way, you will need to hang the triangle from a percussion stand or music stand. The "damping" means that you lightly grip the triangle, making it sound more clipped. Of course, if this is too much for your students, just play the triangle hand-held and open. You can also simplify the rhythms.

Optional vocal parts - It just so happens there is another little rain rhyme that seemed to fit nicely as an interlude between the two statements of the tune. There are 4 bars here that ask your performers to sing the "Rain, Rain, Go Away" chant twice. Then the tune starts up again. If you had another group of singers you could continue repeating it to bar 28. To let you hear how this would work, we included a recording of this version as well (track 35).

Invite the altos over... - As we often do, we have included a nice, but completely optional, alto recorder part. It works well with the arrangement and will be fun for your beginning alto players.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.