Rain it Rains


Here we stray form the traditional again, but as Jon explains, “The words are about 60% Shakespeare 40% me. I know several Shakespearean directors who would consider this a hanging offence, but I figure if Shakespeare borrowed from the oral tradition, why shouldn’t we borrow it back again?” Those familiar with the Spiers & Boden Vagabonds CD, will know the song, but that jaunty treatment is turned somewhat on its head. Jon and his guitar give the song a melancholy that brings out the lyrical theme more obviously. For anyone needing  a reference of the lyrics, you’ll find them here.

The buy links should now work properly. We had some problems with a duplicate track and everything needed to be updated, but I’ve just tested them and they are now OK!

You can buy the digital album now from the following stores:


42 Responses to “Rain it Rains”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hilary Ely, Jon Boden. Jon Boden said: Latest Post: Rain it Rains http://www.afolksongaday.com/2010/07/20/rain-it-rains/ […]

  2. Caroline Jefford says:

    ahh… lovely! especially welcome after such a hot day in London yesterday……

  3. SRD says:

    I love this treatment, it reminds me a little of Chris Wood’s work.

  4. Julia Taylor says:

    As you say in the write up, a jaunty treatment of this song – such as in Trevor Nunn’s version of ‘Twelfth Night’ – is more familiar. But it’s not an easy number, as I have tried to sing it myself; and with the help of the guitar here Jon, you’ve managed to tease the maximum tunefulness out of it. You have my full permission too, as an English teacher, to change away at Shakespeare’s lyrics to your heart’s content!

  5. mab says:

    Really, really enjoyed today’s offering. (Have enjoyed the others too but this one particularly stood out for me).

  6. Jane Ramsden says:

    This is very lovely. I can see the comparison with Chris Wood, who is deeper-voiced and slightly sombre, but equally evocative in observation of ordinary life rendered less ordinary in song. I have no problems with Shakespeare either way. As Barry Rutter has demonstrated in his Northern Broadsides Theatre, the bard’s words are eminently suited to the Northern voice. So keep working on your adoptive county’s vowel sounds, Jon! This was lovely though, clear and restful.

  7. Peter Walsh says:

    Lovely Jon; and one look out of the window tells me that it is very apt today!!!

  8. Stephen Harvey says:

    ‘Lovely” seems to be the word of choice here, and who could argue with that? I like the Spiers & Boden version and I like this one equally. Between the two, they provide an interesting contrast and example of how a song can be interpreted differently, even by the same person. cheers, Jon

  9. admin says:

    I’m really pleased that everyone seems to be liking this (he said tempting fate.) I’m not sure that I’m strictly allowed an opinion, but for what it’s worth this is my favourite so far. There are a couple of other contenders which run it close, I just find this has that little bit of magic for me.

  10. Simon Dewsbury says:

    Lovely and poignant. I agree with admin. Would be good to hear it on the stage at Stratford.

  11. Shelley says:

    Great version, and so appropriate for the current weather situation!

  12. Rob O says:

    Great song, can’t stop listening to it, does anyone know the chords perchance? I’m too lazy to try and work it out… I may eventually have to have a stab at it but if anyone knows if it’s in a weird tuning or something that would really help me out? Xxxxxxxxxx

  13. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Chucking it down outside….just as it did on the same day last year…..we need a sunshine song asap!

  14. nev perry says:

    Who said rain? we get a lot of that hear in wales, a great song though full of atmosphere if that is the right word to use. Love the guitar playing.

  15. Simon says:

    This remains one of my favourites throughout the whole project as you can see from my admin (before I came out) comment above. I still love it.

  16. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Simon….you should log in as “Admin-Simon”…not everybody recognises you from your distinctive persona (and photo!)

  17. Jan says:

    This one ticks every box for me!

    I missed out on the beginning of this wonderful project through sheer inertia, and I missed the end due to circumstances beyond my control, so I’m utterly thrilled to have the chance to catch up.

    Jon might like to know that AFSAD ‘did what it said on the can’ as I’ve been inspired to learn new songs and revisit forgotten ones, so many thanks to him and to Simon and the admin team – it’s been a joy.

    Simon, you suggested we should go out and sing John Ball – I’m currently working on a harmony version with two friends which is coming along nicely. Better late than never!

  18. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    @Jan……………Now that you have conquered inertia…..can’t wait to hear your “harmony version with two friends” on youtube!..don’t forget to post the link.

  19. StephenH says:

    I must agree with you, Simon, this remains one of my very favourite AFSAD offerings as well. It’s added to my ever-expanding list of songs to learn.

  20. Diana says:

    Love this song – good old Will’s “Twelfth Night “. Have got Spiers and Boden’s version but Jon singing solo is just as good.

  21. Dave Markham says:

    Just collected eggs from my hens in Storrs, they’re really wet and miserable. If they could share sentiments with any song it would be this one! Beatifully sung and played. Thank you for capturing and crystalising this summer so far!

  22. Diana says:

    @Pewter I still play “Last of the Melting Snow” from time to time, just wishing for “Last of the Falling Rain” for a little while – it seems endless. Must have been like this in Will Shakespeare’s time cos that is what he wrote in his play. I sound like Ernie Wise there.

  23. Jan says:

    Muzza – just to let you know ‘John Ball’ is up and running, with harmonies, and has been sung out on several occasions. I promise I will get it on to YouTube one day!

  24. Old Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Jan…….AHA……it took good old AFSAD to remind you of your proposed Youtube venture with John Ball……go for it gal.
    My recent ‘mancold and cough’ is reminding me of my mortality and I must really get down to documenting my collected 200 songs before the voice and hands give out (borderline presently!)……..
    and a couple of days ago my heart dropped and I felt as though I’d lost an arm when I tried to log on to AFSAD and for a whole day it said that the site didn’t exist!!!!..
    I thought the balifs had moved in overnight….I am so relieved to see you all still here….Jane must be tidying the basement ready for HER youtube recording.

    Great version by Jon…that primeval yell he gives in the chorus reminds me of the one he gives in ‘Maid of Australia’ (due on 28th July)

    @Diana…………thank you for pointing me to Twelfth Night and Feste’s Song…he was a bit-of-a-lad and had a lot to sing about!

    When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

    But when I came to man’s estate,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    ‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
    For the rain, it raineth every day.

    But when I came, alas! to wive,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    By swaggering could I never thrive,
    For the rain, it raineth every day.

    But when I came unto my beds,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
    For the rain, it raineth every day.

    A great while ago the world begun,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain.
    But that’s all one, our play is done,
    And we’ll strive to please you every day

  25. Diana says:

    @ Muzza .. You got that exactly right. The biggest difference is that Will says “every day” but J and B’s version is “most every day” – I really think that Will was more accurate judging by the anount of rain everyone has had recently.

  26. Linda says:

    Right again! Thunder storms and rain. Like Jon’s version of this

  27. Diana says:

    Old Will got it right first though Linda.

  28. Linda says:

    Fine at the moment that’s tempting it… Another lovely version very “relaxing”.

  29. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey) says:

    Woooooo Hoooooooo…been off line for a week and just received a new router from Virgin.. managed to get it on line despite poor instruction book and enjoying WIFI connection for the first time…can now watch TV and browse AFSAD.
    Yes…this is an enjoyable little song and lends itself to self-penned verses just as Jon has done………Sweltering and humid yesterday……….back to overcast and threat of thundery rain today

  30. Barbara Scrivens says:

    And it’s raining today this year too, first rain we’ve had for ages, very apt!

  31. Linda says:

    Any chance of a little sprinkling today just to clear the air…..nicely sung Jon..

  32. Linda says:

    Its time to catch up with the weather again…..Yes it was raining again this morning but taking a break now…….

  33. Linda says:

    Really nice version of this song…..a lot of good virtual folk festivals about at the moment a little ray of sunshine at these strange times

  34. Tony.P says:

    Wonderfully poignant.

  35. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Jolly little song…but seemed to go in all directions….(similar to 7 ages of man?)
    Contrary to the song……in 2021 we are having a few really hot days…and today is the day the government has decided that caution goes out the window and Covid is given a free reign again….we shall see how that plays out.
    Ref Tony.P comment above…a trifle puzzling as to it being dated MAY!

  36. Linda says:

    Hot here too Muzza although think rain and thunder promised for weekend….As caution goes out the window am keeping mask and picking quieter spots first concert not till October…

  37. John Bryson says:

    I can assure one and all that it is hot here in Leicestershire – and it’s only 8.15 am!

  38. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Yup……79F (25C) 10am in my front room with all windows open but I do live in a very, very cold old house…. (any Californians/Australians are chuckling that we think this is hot!)fortunately, I don’t seem to feel the heat…perhaps I’m part lizard!

  39. Jane (Maryland) says:

    Love this song as well as all the weather comments over the years. Remembering a cab ride from Heathrow several years ago in late June, listening to the weather report: “sunny and hot, high temperature 75.” That was the first of many reasons we wished we could stay. (We had come from DC where it was 95 and extremely humid.) Now thinking about so many in Europe enduring heat without a/c. Looks like you’ll get some relief soon!

  40. Old Muzza (NW Surrey UK) says:

    A/c..!!!!!!… beeeeeehaaaave Jane (Maryland)…most UK A/C means opening a couple of windows and taking off your jumper!

  41. Jane (Maryland) says:

    So we learned when we were there, Muzza! We understood why 75F was considered “hot”, especially inside buildings without cross-ventilation. (We still preferred it to DC summer heat and humidity.)

  42. OldMuzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Oooooer Jane(Maryland)…good to see that you are still lurking out there!

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