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Did you know there’s a Catholic version of “Rain, Rain, Go Away”?

St. Isadore praying for rain to go away.

Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain | mik ulyannikov | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 05/13/24

Did you know there’s a Catholic version of the “Rain, Rain, Go Away” song, themed around St. Isidore the Farmer, whose feast day is May 15?

Most of us grew up singing some version of the “Rain, Rain, Go Away” song. You know the one?

Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day

Little [child’s name] wants to play

Rain, rain, go away

But did you know there’s actually a Catholic version of this song, themed around St. Isidore the Farmer, whose feast day falls on May 15? It originated in Spain, and is sung in Spanish.

When I was a little girl, my Cuban grandmother, who lived in Spain for several years, taught me to sing this verse instead of “Rain, Rain, Go Away”: 

San Isidro, Labrador 

Quita el agua y pone el sol

Simply, these words mean, “St. Isidore, Laborer, take away the water and bring the sun.” 

Often we would add at the end, “Santa Clara, aclara!” meaning, “St. Clare, clear it up!” 

St. Clare has the title of “aclaradora” in Spanish culture, meaning “one who clarifies,” so it’s a fun play on words to have her “clear up” the rain instead of the mental or spiritual fog that the title usually would imply.

The history of the rhyme

I don’t know the full history of the Spanish rhyme, but it makes sense that Spanish children invoke St. Isidore, as he was a farmer who lived in Spain.

Interestingly enough, the English version has a bit of an anti-Spanish history. The first version of this short nursery rhyme dates back to the 17th century when James Howell, an Anglo-Welsh historian and writer, composed the following about the Spanish Armada:

Rain, rain, go to Spain,

Never show your face again!

In the late 16th century, Spain and England were rivals at sea. The English fleet of ships managed to defeat the larger Spanish Armada, as stormy weather scattered the ships and forced them to return home to Spain.

Given that detail, you can imagine why Spain had its own, very different version of the rhyme!

Today, that history is mostly forgotten and both songs are just fun and delightful rhymes for children. 

Every year on the feast of St. Isidore, I remember the little song my grandma taught me, and sing it to my kids for a sweet connection to our Spanish heritage and holy St. Isidore. 

Tags:
Devotions and FeastsHistorySaints
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