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A Summer Night’s Rain

(Bob Nolan)


Loneliness is just that I need someone.
The desert flowers, they need someone, too.
The thirsty earth invites the summer raindrop.
Through this lonely night I wait for you.
  
Far o’er the plains, the summer night rains
Fall soft as twilight dew.
Come from on high where sad angels cry.
I guess they’re lonesome, too.
Low in the sky comes a trail of gray,
Breathing a sigh to the newborn day
While it rains to comfort the plains down here,
But where are you?


While it rains to comfort the plains down here,
But where are you?

                                                                   

                                                                        (photo courtesy of Michelle Sundin)

   

"A Summer Night's Rain" began its life as a poem and,  in answer to the growing demand for more and more songs for radio programs, Bob wrote music for it. The result is a song as gentle as a soft rain in a hot and thirsty land. "A Summer Night's Rain", like Cool Water, is also a prime example of how one of Bob's verses was changed slightly to suit the listening public. In the last two lines of his original song, he concluded with:
 

...While it rains to comfort the plains down here

But where are you?

 

Because of the inadequacies of radio at the time, listeners heard it this way:

 

While it rains to comfort the plains.

Dawn's here, but where are you?

 

Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers bowed to the inevitable, as they did with Cool Water or Tumbling Tumbleweeds, and changed the lyric to what the listener thought he heard. The original verse is never used now. In the rendition of "A Summer Night's Rain" you are listening to as you read this page, Ken Curtis sings it as Bob had intended it to be sung. It was registered for copyright on July 4, 1936 and it was published as sheet music in "Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2", © 1936 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.

 

Recordings:
Standard Radio Transcription 1935 (solo by Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers), Bob sings the verse.

Ken Curtis - just as Bob Nolan wrote it.
RCA Victor from "The Songs of Bob Nolan" LPM/LSP 3554, 1966 with solo by Dale Warren.

 

Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli

TRANSCRIPTIONS with "A Summer Night's Rain"



Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2, © 1936 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.

 

Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

Standard Radio Transcription #3061, 1935

Teleways Transcriptions: #21-101-173-201-254

10-2-4 Time program:

    #390 10-2-4 Time Show Date: 07/14/44 (37650-05)

Lucky U program courtesy of Larry Hopper

    29 November 1951. Transcription Disc TR-123, 124
    14 March 1952. Transcription Disc TR-282, 283
    18 June 1952. Transcription Disc TR-417, 418
    15 August 1952. Transcription Disc TR-477, 478
    20 November 1952. Transcription Disc TR-571, 572

Smokey the Bear 1959: Show #4