Grit Blogs > Country at Heart

Rain Dancing on the Rooftop

In the 1950s and '60s, country houses had tin-top roofs - perhaps not all of them, but at least ours did. The other night, it rained, and the only way I knew it was raining is that water was dropping onto an iron table or something that sits outside my window. Now, if it had been 1958, I would have known it was raining when the first drop hit the roof.

Rain (and especially a downpour) makes such a melodious sound that the drops seem to dance on top of the roof. There is a constant, rhythmic pattern to the splatters of the raindrops that makes all the drops "sound" in sync. I didn't dance, but even still, when it rained, I imagined the drops competing with each other in a tap dance to see which one had the brassiest step.

Once my sister and I were reminiscing about tin top roofs. Actually, I do miss them, because the sound of rain pounding on them is like a "sleeping pill." Whenever it rained, we soon went soundly to sleep - and slept all night. I very much like the sound of rain and often long to hear it falling on my roof, especially on nights when I have difficulty falling asleep.

I've often wondered why house builders stopped using tin on roofs. Are they outdated? Do home dwellers desire "no noise" house tops? Are other kinds of roofs more economical or just what is the reason? Perhaps, today, homeowners want a "softer" house top that reduces the noise level. Tin is cut in large, long sheets. Anything dropping on it makes a loud sound. Tin can also be dangerous and deadly, especially during a violent storm where elements are tossed about. If a sheet of tin falls on someone, it can result in death or a serious injury.

I remember once we were working out in this pasture. A girl was walking near the barn when a strong wind blew a large piece of tin onto the ground - barely missing her. Luckily she saw the tin coming and quickly ran away. My sister and I just stood there in amazement thinking how close she came to possibly being decapitated.

Maybe that's why there are no more tin top roofs. Nevertheless, with all the perils those roofs present, I think I would still like to hear rain dancing on my roof top all night than wake up to a wet, dreary morning and not know it had rained.