Gospel Song – Didn’t It Rain?

Gospel Song – Didn’t It Rain?

Gospel Song – Didn’t It Rain?

It’s not clear when this gospel song was composed. It might have originated as a call and response work song during the slavery era, but it was arranged in 1919 by Henry Burleigh. “Didn’t it rain” was recorded first by the Galilee Singers in the 1920’s, and it was popularized by Sister Rosetta Tharpe in 1948 and Mahalia Jackson in 1954. The lyrics about Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-9) have an interesting aspect: an angel was sent around the world to warn the people of the impending deluge. That makes sense. There was no way one man, Noah, was able to make his way around the globe to warn everyone. The song highlights the tragedy of the story… God shut the door, and only God has the key. No one except Noah and his family were allowed to enter the ark. The people must have been so full of sin that they were somehow irredeemable. This side of God is a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it we must, trusting in the wisdom of God’s divine judgment.


LYRICS – Didn’t It Rain?

Refrain: Didn’t it rain, children? Talk about rain, O my Lord, Didn’t it fall, didn’t it fall, didn’t it fall,  my Lord.

Didn’t it rain, talk about rain, O my Lord. Didn’t it fall, didn’t it fall, my Lord, didn’t it rain.


Oh it rained 40 days and it rained 40 nights. There was no land, nowhere in sight.

God send the angel to spread the news. He haste his wings and away he flew,

to the East, to the West, to the North, to the South, all day, all night, how it rained, how it rained.

Some at the window, some at the door, some said Noah can’t you take a little more.

No no said Noah, no no my friends, the nature gots to keep you can’t get in.

I told you, I told you a long time ago, you wouldn’t hear me, you disobey me,

Lord send the angel a warning to you, it began to rain and now you are through.


Well it rained 40 days and 40 nights without stopping, Noah was glad when the rained stopped dropping.

Knock at the window, knock at the door, come on brother Noah can’t you take any more.

No no my brothers, you are full of sin. God has the key. You can’t get in.

Would you listen how it rained, didn’t it rain children, didn’t it rain, O my Lord, didn’t it fall, didn’t it fall,

didn’t it fall my Lord, didn’t it rain.


Sometimes I wonder about Noah. On the one hand, he was certainly a hero of the faith, even making it into the Biblical Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.In his evil generation, God considered him a “righteous” man, and so Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He was somehow able to keep the Faith despite the evil surrounding him, which is really saying something. Noah was utterly obedient, doing everything exactly as God commanded him. Noah was extraordinarily patient, building that monstrous boat on dry land for years and years. Can you imagine the snarky comments Noah and his sons had to endure all that time? And then he had to remain in that smelly ark with all those animals for a full year after all was said and done. Patience, thy name is Noah. Noah definitely was a “Letter of the Law” kind of man. He obeyed the rules, didn’t question them, and that was that.


Interestingly, Peter called Noah a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), which implies that he must have tried to warn the sinful population that they were doomed unless they turned their lives around. Maybe he did his preaching through his obvious obedience, we don’t know. Yes, Noah was a “righteous” man, but he never seemed to be effective beyond whatever simple instructions were given by God. He never had the courage to question God about the Flood, or challenge God’s actions in any way. Once he heard that the whole human race was going to be wiped out, why didn’t Noah do what Abraham did: bargain with God for just a few of those lives? Why didn’t Noah respond to God like Moses and advocate for those were going to lose their lives to God’s anger? Also, Noah’s blameless character didn’t seem to make his goodness attractive. He didn’t make his righteousness stick to those around him. Noah didn’t have any influence. Noah may have had personal character, but it didn’t affect anyone else. Noah simply wasn’t a very effective leader when the world desperately needed one. That’s why I think Noah is an odd person to be a hero of the faith. He didn’t let his little light shine. Noah was righteous and faithful to the letter, but he did not demonstrate the magnanimous heart of God.