Hello and thank you for your question.
"The rain in Spain" was coined by Alan Jay Lerner for My Fair Lady (1956)
(and appears again in the movie screenplay of 1964)
The inspiration for the phrase, like the entire tale, came from Shaw's
original stage play, but there's no "rain in Spain" in Shaw's
Search for Spain here:
Liza seeks out Professor Higgins in Act II of Pygmalion. He decides
to teach her, but the lessons do not happen on stage.
In Act III, when the new Liza makes her appearance, talk turns to the weather:
" MRS. HIGGINS [at last, conversationally] Will it rain, do you think?
LIZA. The shallow depression in the west of these islands is likely
to move slowly in an easterly direction. There are no indications of
any great change in the barometrical situation.
FREDDY. Ha! ha! how awfully funny!
LIZA. What is wrong with that, young man? I bet I got it right.
MRS. EYNSFORD HILL. I'm sure I hope it wont turn cold. Theres so
much influenza about. It runs right through our whole family regularly
LIZA [darkly] My aunt died of influenza: so they said.
MRS. EYNSFORD HILL [clicks her tongue sympathetically]!!!
LIZA [in the same tragic tone] But it's my belief they done the old woman in."
"[O]ne of the best-known lines in the show [is], "The rain in Spain
stays mainly in the plain." Following in Bernard Shaws footsteps, the
American adapter, Alan Jay Lerner, tried to find a sentence that
Higgins could use to teach his pupil to pronounce English correctly."
Thanks again for letting us help!
Search terms used:
Lerner "fair lady"
Fair lady site:imdb.com
Google Answers Researcher
Clarification of Answer by
03 Feb 2006 22:55 PST
From what you say in your Request for Clarification, I have to assume
my answer was incorrect. I was able to locate the text of the play,
but not the screenplay.
If you will contact firstname.lastname@example.org and reject my answer,
you will be refunded all but your 50 cent listing fee.
May I suggest that in posting a question to Google Answers, you'll
benefit by telling us what you already know, viz.:
"Although "the rain in Spain" does not appear in Shaw's original play,
the phrase was coined by Shaw, since it appears in the screen play
that he wrote for the 1938 Gabriel Pascal-Anthony Asquith movie
Pygmalion. My question is whether Shaw made it up, or whether it was a
common diction exercise in his day."