Need help: Magnificat song (As the Rain Rushes Down)

We need help finding or creating a recording of a song that was popular in Catholic churches and youth groups back in the early 1970s. I was able to find the words and chords but I have no idea how the melody goes. Would someone like to collaborate on this? If you can scratch out the melody for me, I can record the song for Mary who has been looking for a recording of this song for many years. We don't know the name of the composer.

Here is what Mary wrote:

"I have to tell you, finding the right Magnificat is like looking for a needle in a haystack, except that it's a really tiny needle and the haystack is the size of the Empire State Building! The lyrics start with "As the rain rushes down and the earth blossoms forth and the wind caresses every tree".  I haven't heard this but once since 1971. Every music director I've worked with in my diocese looks at me with that look that says "you know you're crazy, right?" My sister has been looking too, unsuccessfully."

EDIT 1: My longtime friend from college, Tom, just called and said he knows this Magnificat well! He used to sing it the CYC in St. Paul, MN, and at his parish in Hopkins, MN. He still has the Hymnal For Young Christians (published by F.E.L.) that this song is in (it's on pp. 141-143 of the piano guitar accompaniment edition of volume 1 of Hymnal For Young Christians).  Tom and I will do a recording of this Magnificat and post it here for download. By the way, the composer is Robert Blue. The song is ©1966-67 F.E.L. Publications, Chicago, Illinois. Tom said the original arrangement is in key of G – 1-1/2 steps higher than the guitar arrangement below. We'll determine which key is most accessible.

EDIT 2: I found a used copy of Hymnal For Young Christians on Amazon and recorded the refrain and all 5 verses. I also located online and ordered an original vinyl copy of the album "Run, Come, See" which has "Magnificat" on it. My interpretation of the hymnal sheet music may be different than the recorded version. We will see! Comments welcome.

MAGNIFICAT (Luke 1:46-55)

       E           C#m
As the rain rushes down
        F#m            B
And the earth blossoms forth
        E             C#m   F#m  B
And the wind caresses every tree
        E               C#m
You can hear the turtle dove
        F#m                B
Singing all throughout the land
       E           B       E
Of the fair, young Virgin  Mary.

                 F#m      B            E  
  My heart sings out with praise of my Lord.
C#m          F#m       B      E     
   My soul rejoices in God my Savior
           C#m                     F# 
For he has looked upon his servant tenderly,
F#m           B  
humble as she is.  REFRAIN

From this day forth all people who will ever be
Shall call me lovely and the happiest of women!
For my Lord, the One who can do all things
Has treated me wondrously!  REFRAIN

His name is holy, and His mercy without fail;
It rests on those who fear Him in all generations.
And the deeds of his own right arm
Show forth His strength!  REFRAIN

And he has scattered the proud
And pulled the mighty from their throne,
But the humble He has held and lifted high!
The hungry He fills with wondrous things,
The rich he sends empty away.  REFRAIN

Yes, he has helped Israel His Child;
He has not forgot His Promise to our fathers;
His promise of mercy to Abraham
And his children's children forever!  REFRAIN

composer: Robert Blue. ©1966-67 F.E.L. Publications

Magnificat-Robert-Blue-HFYC-p141.pdf3.75 MB


Nice work

Nice work - tracking down fondly remembered hymns that are no longer published is great fun - and trying a different search engine is definitely a good technique.

Do you think that this is still copyright?    I would expect that whoever purchased the FEL catalogs believes they own it, and may be upset if you put it here.  Or do you think it's worth the risk?

Magnificat by Robert Blue (As the Rain Rushes Down)

Mary, I'm glad you are pleased with our detective work so far. It looks like Lorenz Publishing now owns all the F.E.L. copyrights:

At the third link listed above, it explains how to request a print license (for reproducing the original sheet music) or a mechanical license (for recording and publishing the song as a performance). I'll write to The Lorenz Corporation and see what they say. The song is out of print and there is no recording available commercially. They may give us the green light. If the copyright on this song was never renewed, it may be possible that it expired in 1994 (after an initial 28-year period). I'll ask our resident expert on copyright law, Nick Alexander, for his assessment of the copyright on the Robert Blue Magnificat. 

Copyright law is rather complex. Here is an excerpt from GBOD:

How Long Does Copyright Last?
(Be sure to read the provisions of the 1998 amendment before applying the 1976 law's provisions.)

  • For works created after January 1, 1978, copyright lasts until 70 years after the author dies.
  • For works for hire created after January 1, 1978, copyright duration is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
  • For works created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered by that date, copyright will be the same as for works created after January 1, 1978. However, in no case will the copyright for these works expire before December 31, 2002; and for works published before December 31, 2002, the expiration will not be before December 31, 2047.
  • For works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978, the original copyright was for a first term of 28 years. During the 28th year, the copyright was eligible for renewal for a second term of 28 years. However, the 1976 law extended the second renewal term to 47 years. Thus, if a publisher or copyright holder renewed the copyright for a second term, the total life of the copyright would have been 75 years (28 + 47). If a copyright holder failed to renew for the second term, however, the copyright period would end after the first 28 years.
  • The 1998 amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act further extended the renewal term of copyrights still existing on October 27, 1998, for an additional 20 years, thus giving all music protected by copyright on that date a total of 95 years protection from their original copyright date.
  • Public Law 102-307, enacted on June 26, 1992, automatically renewed the original term of copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977. Thus, for works copyrighted within this period, even if the copyright holder failed to renew the second term, renewal was granted; and the full 95 years protection is applied.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Magnificat (As the rain rushes down)

Thanks for all the research.  Glad I could challenge you! And REALLY glad that you've made so much progress.  This song has haunted me for 20+ years.  I listened to the you-tube guitar segment - it's the right song even if it's not how I remember it exactly.

We sang this for our May Procession and for my grade school graduation.  I went to a large school so picture 1200 kids' voices singing this sweet melody.  I recall thinking that it must be what heavenly choirs are like - hence the indelible memory.  I'm not sure it'll sound so good with our parish community, although we are a singing parish. 

But first things first - we'll (ok, you'll) find it hopefully as written music and maybe even a recording.  I'll learn it and then present it to our music director.  Worst case, I'll be serenading myself, and smiling!  It's a great way to pray.

True to Blue (Robert Blue)

You are welcome, Mary. I am sure interested to hear how my friend Tom plays the song on piano. He is very good on keyboard. When he called me the other night, he started out singing it by heart, then grabbed his "Hymnal For Young Christians" to continue on. He pointed out a few mistakes in the verses I had posted. We will make sure everything is correct, to be true to Blue! 

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Litigation re Hymnal For Young Christians

Interesting article from 1990 re Dennis Fitzpatrick and his F.E.L. Publications Ltd.

Publisher Won't End Battle Over Hymns - Chicago Tribune

Excerpt from the article:

F.E.L. Publications hasn`t published any music in 10 years, though it still holds copyrights on about 1,000 songs. Dennis Fitzpatrick is selling real estate in Las Vegas and stubbornly pursuing his legal claims against the archdiocese. He won nearly $3.2 million in damages from the archdiocese in 1984, then lost all but $190,400 of that the next year as a result of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago...

Fitzpatrick and F.E.L., which had offices in Chicago and Los Angeles, were pioneer publishers of what was then contemporary religious music after English replaced Latin as the language of Catholic services in this country.

The changes in the church that resulted from the historic Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s created a demand for a new type of religious music-family-oriented music more suited for singing from the pews rather than from choir lofts.

One of the first publishers to fill the void was F.E.L., which grew out of a group called Friends of the English Liturgy and held copyrights on folk- style hymns such as "Shout from the Highest Mountain," "They`ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love" and "Allelu!"

The company's "Hymnal for Young Christians" has been described in court as one of the most complete books of music composed for the Catholic Church after Vatican II....

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

The Folk Mass Revolution: Hymnal for Young Christians

"Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution" by Ken Canedo

KTFB-Chapter 8 "Hymnal for Young Christians"
FEL's HYMNAL FOR YOUNG CHRISTIANS helped solve the thin repertoire problem of the early Folk Mass days. Featured songs: "I Lift Up My Eyes" by Ray Repp from the 1966 FEL recording, Allelu! "Allelu" by Ray Repp from the 1968 FEL recording, Sing Praise!
Date: Wed, 18 November 2009
Tunes link:

KTFB-Chapter 1 "Pange Lingua Gloriosi"
DENNIS FITZPATRICK: In the late 1950s, while the Mass was still in Latin, Catholic music pioneer Dennis Fitpatrick begins his groundbreaking work in composing English chant for the liturgy. Featured songs: "Kyrie," "Sanctus," "Agnus Dei," and "Communion Motet" by Dennis Fitzpatrick from the 1963 recording, Demonstration English Mass, published by Friends of the English Liturgy.
Date: Wed, 18 November 2009
iTunes link:

The entire "Keep the Fire Burning" podcast series available at iTunes:

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Magnificat by Robert Blue

I fetched an old copy of "Hymnal For Young Christians" from an Amazon bookseller. Magnificat by Robert Blue is on page 141. I'll record it and share it here. The 8th edition (1970) of Hymnal For Young Christians has the song in the key of G – one and a half steps higher than the key of E posted above. The first edition of the hymnal, published by F.E.L. Publications, was in 1966.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Test video of Magnificat by Robert Blue

I found a used copy of Hymnal For Young Christians on Amazon and recorded the refrain and all 5 verses. The verses are challenging. A YouTube video is posted above. I also located online and ordered an original vinyl copy of the album "Run, Come, See" by Robert Blue which has "Magnificat" on it. My interpretation of the hymnal sheet music may be different than the recorded version. We will see! Comments welcome.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Wrong Tune

My mom used to sing this when I was a baby. She was a former nun for the FMA (Friends of Mary of the Assumption). I could sing it for you

in the right tune in acapella and send it to you. My mom died in 2010. This song reminds me of her. I was trying to search online for that song.

I didn't know it was The Magnificat. All I remember is As the rain rushes down. I do know how to sing it and if you can make a proper recording

of the tune I would very much appreciate it.


Maria's version of Magnificat (As the Rain Rushes Down)

Maria, thank you for sending your beautiful voice recording of Magnificat (As the Rain Rushes Down) as your mother taught it to you. This is definitely a different melody. I think I like it better than the Robert Blue melody. It makes me wonder where the words for the refrain originated. And it makes me wonder which came first – the 1966 Robert Blue version or the version you sang for me. Here is Maria's recording:

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

How to sing Robert Blue Magnificat correctly

Maria: Is my YouTube video OK? Am I singing it correctly? This is what I posted above: 

Are you able to record your singing and send me an MP3? You can contact me by clicking on my user name and sending me a message.

Here is the original sheet music from which I sang:

I also recently ordered and received the original recording of Magnificat by Robert Blue – on his original vinyl record album called "Run, Come, See". It has been out of print for many years so perhaps I could record it, post it at YouTube and then link here.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Bob Lownik...Robert Blue

In the 1960s  we lived in Shrewsbury MO.  Bob was a family friend and frequent guest in our home.  

I have been trying to track Bob down.   When he lived in Shrewsbury his roommate was "Rod"...I don't remember his last name.  I was about 15.  

I have a grainy photograph of Bob playing a piano for my brothers and sisters.  

any help would be appreciated.

Jim Lee photo of Robert Blue

Finding Bob

Hi, Jim. Send me a note via the Contact form and I'll try to connect you. Thanks for the photo!

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

Blue’s Magnificat

I know I'm seriously late to this conversation (about 6 years late!), but I stumbled upon it looking for something else and these posts caught my eye because I, too, grew up singing and playing this song in our little Catholic church in North St. Louis, MO. 

Richard, on your YouTube version, you are playing the verses twice as fast as your refrain. When I played it back in the day, I kept the same time signature throughout. We actually did it more as a 4 than as cut time, but that could just be a location/cultural thing. Goodness knows we didn't have the money at age 13 to buy the record, but the church did purchase the accompaniment book! We played it in the key of G.

Another bit of synchronicity - I currently live in the town next to Shrewsbury, MO, that your most recent poster hailed from. Small world!

Better late than never

Dear "zorahope",

I'm glad you can help shed some light on the way this song should be sung. I was working blind, never having heard it before I attempted to sing it from the sheet music arrangement in Hymnal for Young Christians. I was confused by the cut time assigned to the piece. The verses seemed to go way too slowly, so that's why I sang them the way I did. I subsequently purchased Blue's original vinyl album. I might post the origonal recording – perhaps the refrain and one verse – so we all know how Robert played it.

Robert Blue actually did connect with me a few years ago. Below are some excerpts from our conversation.

On Jan 18, 2017, at 3:45 PM, Richard Schletty <> wrote:


I appreciate your words. I am happy to finally make connection with you.

I tried to find contact info for you a couple years ago but was unsuccessful. I was seeking permission to post your song on my YouTube channel and link it to As you read, it all started with a woman wanting to find a recording of the song that she fondly remembered from her youth.

P.S. I purchased your rare vinyl album "run, come, see!" but have not listened to it yet. I need to hook up my old turntable. So, my rendition of your "Magnificat" was purely based on my reading of the sheet music. I'd love to have you make a comment at either or both of these pages:

By the way, I have no way of explaining Maria's alternate melody for the same "As the rain rushes down" text:

I am guessing she is from the Philippines and they somehow spawned their own melody there years ago. Maria's mother taught it to her.

Peace to you,
Richard Schletty  

On Jan 17, 2017 Robert Blue wrote:

Dear Mr. Schletty,

I am Robert Jonathan Blue, the composer of The Magnificat which I wrote so many years ago (over 50 years ago). I wrote it in St. Louis when I was living there and it was first done at Webster College - now Webster University.  I stumbled across this thread simply trying to see where all of the people I had known and worked with so long ago, where they were now…

I am surprised that anything I wrote had any impact on anyone.  I wanted to simply create a new music - not sentimental, but a music which approached the sacred with respect and awe.  Thus I took a lot of my inspiration from the Bible…

There is no reason to remove the posts nor stop discussions from happening. So if the copyright is free - no one has renews or claimed it - you are free to do with it whatever you deem best. 

Take care,
Robert Jonathan Blue

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

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