There are plenty of songs about happiness and heartbreak. But what about the natural world? That’s a big part of our everyday lives, too, and songwriters can’t resist including descriptions of it in their lyrics. From sunshine to rain, from snowfall to thunder, songs about the weather are bigger hits than you might imagine.
To prove it, we’re listing 25 of the best weather songs of all time. Whatever the skies look like where you are, there’s a track for that.
1. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head – B.J. Thomas
You may have first encountered this amazing song in the blockbuster movie hit, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Burt Bacharach and Hal David won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1970 for it. If you don’t have an image of Paul Newman cheerfully riding on a bike back in the Old West when you hear this one, it’s time to check out the film that’s guaranteed to make you smile.
2. Hurricane – Hamilton
This banger by Lin-Manuel Miranda first appeared in the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, Hamilton. It’s hard to think of a recent weather song as powerful as this. The lyrics depict both a real hurricane (you need to see the staged recording to experience the magic of that) and an emotional one.
3. Thunder Rolls – Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks has a rule about his work being available online, which is why it’s often difficult to find his brilliant songs and videos. However, there are official covers out there, and this track should not be missed. Thunder Rolls takes place in a growing storm that seems to get more intense as the character in the song—a wife worrying about her husband driving home in the rain—discovers that her husband was not where she thought he was.
4. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Welcome to 1982, where songs like this strike the radio waves and send people dancing in the streets. It was a beautiful time. This became the number-one dance hit shortly after its release. Something about the great rhythm and melody, the hilarious lyrics, and the charisma of the singers caught on and made this song an instant classic.
5. Purple Rain – Prince
Believe it or not, this was originally going to be a country song. When Stevie Nicks declined to collaborate, Prince gave it another chance and discovered a better sound without the country music influence. Released in 1984 as the title song on his smash hit album, Purple Rain went on to be one of his most memorable hits ever. In fact, it was the last song he ever performed.
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
This is generally thought of as a Christmas track, though there is no mention of holidays in the lyrics. Instead, this is a seasonal celebration of snow and romance. First published in 1945 by composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn, this timeless song has been performed by nearly all of the greatest singers since.
7. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension
This amazing tune from 1969 is actually a medley of two songs from the Broadway hit Hair. Let the Sunshine In is known in the play as Flesh Failures, and it is one of the most moving moments in a show that is basically a musical protest. The musical did its best to capture the essence of the hippie movement and the anti-war sentiment in America during the 1960s. This track about letting the sunshine in is a bitter-sweet commentary on the years of political unrest and social darkness that people had to endure.
8. No Rain – Blind Melon
The band Blind Melon hit MTV with this song in 1992, and people couldn’t get enough. The sound of Shannon Hoon’s voice, the meaningful lyrics by bassist Brad Smith, and of course, the iconic Bee Girl from the video were the perfect ingredients for instant success. Samuel Bayer directed the video that nobody can forget, which depicts Bee Girl trying in vain to share her dance with someone who will understand.
9. Early Morning Rain – Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot has had a long career filled with influential releases. This 1966 hit came from his debut album and remains a Lightfoot classic. The lyrics describe a person who’s standing near an airport runway in the early morning rain, watching the planes depart and wishing he could get his life together.
10. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
It’s hard to think of a more influential song than Bob Dylan’s 1963 Blowin’ In The Wind. This is a folk track by the master of folk, and it’s been covered more times than anyone can imagine, and it’s in the Grammy Award Hall of Fame. Schools now teach these lyrics in poetry lessons.
11. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
This song was originally composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in 1973 as a tribute to Marylin Monroe. In 1997, he performed a revised version as a tribute to Princess Diana. It’s considered one of the greatest tracks of all time. The lyrics illustrate how easily a small gust of wind can blow out something beautiful—symbolically representing the fascinating lives of people that have been cut short.
12. Riders on the Storm – The Doors
Jim Morrison’s psychedelic sound is on full display in this poetic song from 1971. He got the idea for this one in 1963 when he attended a lecture on philosophy at Florida State University. If you want to dive deeper into this one, check out the philosophers Nietzsche and Heidegger.
13. Blame It on the Rain – Milli Vanilli
The German pop duo Milli Vanilli made headlines throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of their top hits was Blame It On The Rain, which provides advice to anyone going through heartbreak. It’s a light dance song that captured listeners for a short while, as it rose high in the charts worldwide.
14. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Bill Withers hit the jackpot with this 1971 soul release. He was inspired by the film Days Of Wine And Roses, and it proved to be a changing point in his career. This beautiful track won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
15. Title Track – Singin’ in the Rain
Gene Kelly is unforgettable in the romantic musical film Singin’ In The Rain, and it’s the title song that has become an iconic hit. From his light post swing to the rest of his amazing choreography, everything about this scene gets to the heart of the joy of mother nature.
16. Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Whether this song is about issues among the Creedence Clearwater Revival band members or about the political unrest that continued to grow after the 1960s had ended, it’s packed with emotional meaning. Released in 1971, it describes rain on a sunny day.
17. Dust in the Wind – Kansas
This gentle and haunting track by Kansas came out in 1978 with moderate success. However, years later, it became the band’s only certified gold song when it reached popularity in digital downloads. The title is a reference from the Bible.
18. Tornado – Little Big Town
Released in 2012, this song quickly became one of Little Big Town’s biggest hits. This country track with Americana flair has been praised for its Wizard Of Oz themes.
19. Sweet Baby James – James Taylor
It’s the second verse of this one that brings us the weather reference. With beautiful lyrics like, “Now, the first of December was covered with snow, So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston, Though the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frostin’,” it’s not hard to see why this 1970 release is one of James Taylor’s greatest hits of all time.
20. Steal My Sunshine – Len
The 1990s went out on a happy note with this indie-pop track by Len. It’s about the way it felt to be at a music concert. It’s now considered one of the perfect songs for summertime.
21. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves
This 1985 song is full of optimism. It’s the perfect track for playing when you are in a great mood and want to ride that wave of joy. British pop stars Katrina & The Waves are probably the most well-known for this one.
22. Heat Wave – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
This song has been recorded by a few different artists, but there’s nothing quite like the Martha Reeves & The Vandellas energy from 1963. It’s filled with feelings and packed with fun.
23. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
Anything by The Beatles could be described as a timeless classic, but when you’re looking for excellent songs about the weather, this absolutely must be on your list. The track describes those first rays of sunshine coming out after a long period of sadness. It’s hopeful and happy and bright.
24. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz
Judy Garland was only 16 years old when she worked on The Wizard Of Oz back in 1938. That may be hard to believe when you hear her flawless performance of this beautiful song about longing and loneliness. This is one of the best examples of the weather being used to represent emotion in lyrics.
25. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
Here’s a bit of trivia: the thing that sounds like a cowbell in this song is actually a drumstick hitting a fire extinguisher. When this progressive pop band from Germany released Mr. Blue Sky in 1978, they may not have realized what a hit they had on their hands. The unique sound and cheerful lyrics have captured fans ever since.
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