'Saskatchewan'. Song composed by the Swift Current businessman William W. Smith during the 1930s, when the prairie farmers were suffering not only from the Depression which destroyed the markets for their grain but also from the prolonged drought and dust storms which caused the period to be known as 'the dirty thirties.' Smith used the pattern of the gospel hymn 'Beulah Land,' which already had been used for several other sets of words in the American and Canadian west. His graphic chorus ran:
We sit and gaze across the plains
And wonder why it never rains,
And Gabriel blows his trumpet sound:
He says 'The rain, she's gone around.'
It was published by Gage in Fowke, Mills, and Blume's Canada's Story in Song (1960) and included on a record of the same title (Folkways 3000). It was also recorded by Mills on 9-RCI/RCA CS-100/5-ACM 39 (CD). Smith's song should not be confused with the 1948 pop song of the same title by Billy O'Connor.