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.
Another relatively modern rhyme, It’s Raining, It’s Pouring was copyrighted by one Freda Selicoff in Indiana, 1944. The tune appears earlier in a songbook by modernist composer Charles Ives, and though it is likely to have existed beforehand – Ives often drew upon traditional songs and hymns in his compostions – no earlier publications of the rhyme in full have been found.
The beginning of the rhyme appears in 1909 in weekly newspaper The Outlook, for which Theodore Roosevelt was once an associate editor, as follows;
It’s raining – it’s pouring – old men are snoring –
in what appears to be a short story. Though it is unusual no reference is made to the rhyme between 1909 and 1939 it is by no means unlikely. I suspect, though, that other references do occur and have yet to be discovered.
The rhyme is a short but complete narrative, but the reason for the old man’s inability to get up is not made clear. It seems likely it is related to his bump on the head, suggesting either a concussion or, more morbidly, death.