Joy is Like the Rain


An evocating setting of Sister Miriam Therese Winter’s beloved song.  The piano accompaniment conjures rain and rivers, as the varying vocal arrangement reflects the evolving text, tracing a path from pensive introspection toward quietly overflowing joy.

A licensed copy is required for each member performing.



I wrote this piece in honor of my friend Deb Jahnke.  On a rare, rainy California Sunday, I have sometimes played Joy is Like the Rain as an offertory at church, and I have seen Deb smile then, up in the choir loft — silently singing along with the song that she knows so well.

I like to imagine that some songs wear their “birthmark” of inspiration quite clearly — as if you can reach back through the words and melody right to that moment when the writer’s feelings were transmuting into song.  I feel this way about Joy is Like the Rain, whose simple, perfect melody and precise words capture the movement of healing grace, as quietly held inner pain is touched and released, and joy returns.

I am grateful for Sister Miriam’s permission to set and share this song.  I was privileged to speak with her on the phone when I was working out publishing details.  It is an honor to make a human connection with someone whose songs I have sung my whole life, way back to childhood church camp days.

I saw raindrops on the window,
Joy is like the rain.
Laughter runs across my pain,
Slips away and comes again,
Joy is like the rain.

I saw clouds upon a mountain,
Joy is like a cloud.
Sometimes silver, sometimes gray,
Always sun not far away.
Joy is like a cloud.

I saw Christ in wind and thunder,
Joy is tried by storm.
Christ asleep within my boat,
Whipped by winds, yet still afloat,
Joy is tried by storm.

I saw raindrops on the river,
Joy is like the rain.
Bit by bit the river grows,
Till all at once it overflows.
Joy is like the rain.

Words & music by Miriam Therese Winter
(c) 1965 by Medical Mission Sisters

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SSA piano

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