Rain on a tin roof
Like pebbles in a pan
Sounds like a pair of sticks
On a Campbell’s soup tin can

Rain on a tin roof
Just listen to the rain
Sounds like the long slow rattle
Of the anchor chain

Storm wind blowing
And it’s filling up with rain
Sounds like that mean old rhythm man
At his work again

And the wind is screaming
Thin and high
Feels like I’m hitting my head
Against the sky

And the wild sea rages
Waves crashing down
Storm rain sounds like a drum roll
All around
And the wind is screaming …

And the small hut rattles
In the teeth of the gale
And the stutter of rain on the roof
Has turned to hail
And the wind is screaming …

And it’s raining fishes
And dark black eels
And the seal-black sky is spinning
And the wind is screaming …

And the rain is streaming
From a lightning sky
And that mean old rhythm man’s playing
Fit to die – fit to die
And the wind is screaming …

The West Coast is renowned for its violent storms, its hidden reefs, on which many a ship has met its end, the swift Benguela current, deep and cold and its fierce wind. Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages along the West Coast, is named after the prayers – Pater Noster, Our Father, spoken by Portuguese survivors of their ship wrecked on those formidable reefs during a storm. Our song imagines what it must be like to be in one of those small, tin-roofed cottages during one of these fierce storms; wondering if the roof would hold.
[Written for ROSS CAMPBELL: for his percussion and drums.]

  • Barbara Fairhead