Burgess Meredith Reads Ray Bradbury

The following — Meredith’s reading of Bradbury’s ‘There Will Come Soft Rains” — is Side 1 of a 1962 album of the same name. Bradbury’s story was first published in Collier’s on May 6, 1950 and included in The Martian Chronicles, also published in 1950. 

In the original story, the action takes place in Allendale California on April 28, 1985. Subsequent editions changed the date to August 4, 2026. 

The story’s title comes from a poem of the same name by Sara Teasdale:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone. 

Filed under: Overheard

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