From bright sun rays to the comforting sound of rain drops, the weather has served as inspiration for many authors in the music industry.
So whether you’re looking for a song that perfectly represents your local conditions or metaphorically describes something intimate, here are some of the best songs about weather.
1. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
Released in 1969 on the album Abbey Road, this is not only one of The Beatles’ most famous songs but one of their most pleasant as well. Its soothing lyrics and easygoing tune make it the perfect representation of a sunny day.
Lead guitarist George Harrison wrote the song with a literal meaning in mind: the spring sun finally coming out after a long, dreary British winter. However, fans can easily interpret it more figuratively: good times coming back after a string of bad luck, for instance.
2. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” by B.J. Thomas
Another 1969 release, this song’s jaunty beat, and optimistic tone make it a lasting favorite. The narrator muses that his misfortunes (the raindrops of the title) never seem to stop but that he won’t cry or complain because happiness will surely come someday.
The song has appeared in several movies, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Spider-Man 2, accompanying various characters faced with constant misfortune and moving along anyway. It was originally written for the former and became a hit in its own right.
3. “The Snowfoot Waltz” by The Divers
This 1994 release by alternative band The Divers tells the story of a young man who has long loved a woman but was too afraid to tell her how he feels. He decides to make his confession by going to her house on a snowy night and asking her to dance with him.
The song’s chorus is the young man’s entreaty, switching from third person to first to deliver his request to “do the Snowfoot Waltz” in the empty streets with him. The young lady, for her part, is happy to join him in the snow.
4. “Rain” by SID
Officially released as a single in 2010 by Japanese rock band SID, this song was the first to put SID at the top of the daily charts. Its melancholy tone matches its unlucky narrator, who laments his eternal loneliness and grief and wonders if it will ever be possible to find warmth and connection with another person.
It was written for the 2009 anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and used for its fifth opening and sixth ending theme. Played over sequences colored primarily in dark blues and grays, it perfectly embodies the mood of the cast as they face their final battle, pushing past all their traumas to fight for a better future.
5. “Sea Fog” by Keane
Keane’s keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley took similar inspiration for 2012’s “Sea Fog” as George Harrison took for “Here Comes the Sun”: gloomy British weather, specifically foggy days beside the English Channel. However, there is more figurative meaning to “Sea Fog.”
The lyrics portray the fog and accompanying gray skies as representing confusion and aimlessness in life. The narrator wonders whether he will ever find a purpose or a calling or if he will just continue to wander pointlessly like fog off the water.
6. “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage
This narrator of this 1995 release by American rock band Garbage has very atypical feelings about the weather. While rainstorms and bad news might get most people down, she is “only happy when it rains” and can only feel comfortable when living with pain and sadness, hers or others’.
The song depicts the turbulent experience of living with depression, trauma, or any other condition in which the sufferer is so used to the misery that happiness and good fortune feel alien. They prefer what is familiar, even if it’s painful.
7. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
This 1978 smash hit single by American band Earth, Wind & Fire is a shining example of the way the band mixes genres and styles of music to great success. With shades of gospel, disco, and rhythm and blues, the energetic beat and joyful lyrics make it a delight to listen to.
The lyrics recall “the twenty-first night of September,” in which the narrator and his lover shared wonderful times. The narrator expresses his happiness by describing endless bright days and golden sunshine, their love “chasing the clouds away” and overpowering all sorrow.
8. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
One of Stevie Wonder’s most popular singles is this 1973 ballad, written in celebration of the unending capacity of all people to feel true love. The song won Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance with its sincere lyrics and soulful sound.
The narrator looks upon the object of his affection with abject admiration. He openly says that he will love her forever and that she brightens his life just by being in it, as the “sunshine of [his] life.”
9. “The Lightning Strike” by Snow Patrol
This 2008 release by Northern Irish-Scottish alternative rock band Snow Patrol finishes off their album A Hundred Million Suns with a bang. The three-act number clocks in at sixteen minutes and eighteen seconds long: Snow Patrol’s longest song ever recorded.
The song was inspired by vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Gary Lightbody’s terrifying experience of being caught in a raging storm. The stark and striking (no pun intended) imagery makes the song thrilling and unique, as the narrator wonders if this frightening but exhilarating moment he is sharing with someone will end and weaken their bond.
10. “Amid the Falling Snow” by Enya
Irish singer and songwriter Enya is not only a major voice in new age and modern Celtic music, but she often uses nature imagery and environmental themes in her work, such as in the songs “Flora’s Secret” and “Sumiregusa (Wild Violet).” “Amid the Falling Snow” is no exception.
The narrator longs for the winter nights of her past. She recalls their beauty as she saw them from inside her candle-lit home, observing the softly falling snow, the moon in the dark blue sky, and the silence of a peaceful night.
11. “Singin’ in the Rain” by Gene Kelly
This classic show tune from the 1952 movie musical of the same name is a lasting favorite. The film itself made number one on the American Film Institute’s Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time list, and its most famous song, originally composed in 1929, landed the number three spot on its 100 Years…100 Songs list.
The song is complex in musical composition, but its story is simple: the narrator has just received good news on a rainy day and is so happy he can think of nothing else to do but dance and sing in glee. Popularized by Kelly’s rendition, the song has gone on to appear in many other movies.
12. “Sunlight” by Hozier
Irish blues, folk, and soul singer and songwriter Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known professionally as Hozier, is well known for the emotional lyrics, vivid imagery, and heavy themes of nature and romance in his work.
Released on Hozier’s 2019 album Wasteland, Baby!, the song is an expression of devotion from the narrator to his lover. He describes his lover and her willingness to be with him as “sunlight,” while he is a creature of rain and darkness that is helplessly drawn to her. He compares himself to Icarus, drawn to the sun, needing to be close to it even though it will kill him.
13. “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors
One of the most popular offerings by American rock band The Doors, this track is a staple of classic rock. While not, as sometimes assumed, inspired by a real-life serial killer, it achieves a peak Gothic atmosphere.
Its iconic rain, thunder, and whispering sound effects capture the feeling of being caught in a storm or, more figuratively, in the thrall of something more dangerous and powerful than you. The infamously bleak 1986 thriller The Hitcher was inspired by the song and its story of a roving, merciless killer.
14. “Jazz Silver Moonlight” by Henri Salvador
French Caribbean singer Henri Salvador was inspired by notable jazz talents such as Django Reinhardt and Ray Ventura. As his career progressed, he became a major name in his own right, releasing albums up to less than a year before his death at 90 years old.
“Jazz Silver Moonlight” is a standout example of Salvador’s work. It is a testament to the beauty of one clear, beautiful night, as the narrator dances with his lover under the moon and stars.
15. “Spring Snow” by Vampire Weekend
“Spring Snow” tells the story of a young man whose lover’s flight away has been delayed by the snowfall. The two stay one more night together as the young man mourns what he believes to be the end of their relationship.
The snow of the song is literal, but the lyrics also employ several other weather comparisons. Though the sun is usually a symbol of happiness and positivity, the narrator looks at the morning rays of sunlight with disgust. They mean the delay is over: his lover will leave him now for good.
16. “On the Coldest Winter Night” by Kamelot
This slow and poignant song is part of the 2003 album Epica by American power metal band Kamelot. Epica and its sister album The Black Halo are the band’s retelling of Goethe’s Faust, in which the righteous Ariel sells his soul to the demon Mephisto in exchange for the secrets of the universe.
“On the Coldest Winter Night” is Ariel’s reunion with his lover Helena. They dance through the eponymous night, the soft music behind them evocative of light wind and falling snow, blissfully unaware of the tragedy about to befall them as the album’s story goes on.
17. “Livin’ It Up on Top” from Hadestown
Anaïs Mitchell’s Tony-sweeping 2019 musical Hadestown retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through folk opera with shades of jazz and blues. Driving the conflict is Hades, who keeps his wife Persephone in the underworld for too long and comes back for her too early, throwing the seasons out of alignment.
Played with flair by Amber Gray, Lana Gordon, and Jewelle Blackman on Broadway, Persephone returns too late for spring but pulls the world straight into summer. Her song exults in the summertime and the return of lush greenery and warm weather after a long, harsh winter. The goddess’ return brings joy and happiness as “the world [comes] back to life.”
18. “Long Hot Summer Day” by Turnpike Troubadours
What better song to celebrate the long hot summer days than “Long Hot Summer Day”? Oklahoman country band Turnpike Troubadours’ jaunty tune is the perfect background music for working through the season.
Its lyrics place the weather in the center of the narrator’s daily life, as he works on the Illinois River, eats hearty lunches with friends, and thinks of his girlfriend waiting back home for him. All through it, the strong summer sun beats down on him.
19. “Autumn Serenade” by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
Legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and jazz singer Johnny Hartman collaborated on a studio album bearing both their names in 1963. On the tracklist is this ode to the coming of autumn in all its beauty.
The narrator adores every part of the autumn weather, from the wind through the drying trees to the starry nights to the falling leaves. He associates it with lost love and beautiful times in his life now gone.
20. “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra
Previously recorded by Wayne Newton, Bobby Vinton, and Perry Como, by far the most famous version of this song is Frank Sinatra’s 1966 cover. Sinatra’s cover altered the lyrics, added an electronic organ to the instrumentals, and topped Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening chart.
The “summer wind” of the lyrics is love and romance. The narrator tells of a whirlwind relationship that lasted a season before his lover left him in search of something new. Now in the autumn and winter of his life, he still thinks longingly and bitterly of the summer wind.
21. “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls
Far and away the most famous song recorded by American duo The Weather Girls, this 1982 single was an international success. It hit number one on the United States charts and made the top ten in several other countries.
It starts with a spoken “weather announcement” from the Girls, telling all the lonely girls out there to “leave their umbrellas at home” because Mother Nature and Heaven are joining forces to find all of them their perfect boyfriends. The solution? Open the skies and start raining men!
22. “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
One of the biggest hits of 2008 was this catchy single by British pop artist Natasha Bedingfield. The spirited narrator dreams of escaping from the stressful life she is living and is determined to look on the bright side of life, her “pocketful of sunshine” motivating her to keep going.
The song is a popular selection for various media. It famously appears in the 2010 Emma Stone film Easy A and the video game The Sims 2: Freetime. No matter where it shows up, it always makes listeners want to get up and dance.
23. “Let the Sunshine in” From Hair
Hair: The American Tribal Rock-Love Musical premiered in 1967, telling the story of a group of young hippies engaged in anti-war and free-love activism at the height of the Vietnam War.
Its closing number, “Let the Sunshine In,” was added for its Broadway premiere in 1968. In it, the characters sing in tribute to their friend Claude, who chose not to dodge the draft and was killed in battle and reaffirm their determination to live their lives as they choose, as a force for peace.
24. “A Little Fall of Rain” from Les Miserables
One of the most famous songs from the lastingly popular 1980 musical Les Miserables, this song has been performed and covered by many actresses. With its gentle melody and plaintive lyrics, it is one of the most tear-jerking songs in a notoriously tragic show.
The song is performed by the character of Eponine, who is fatally shot by the French army while returning to the rebels’ barricade to reunite with Marius, who she secretly loves. Dying in the rain in the panicking Marius’ arms, Eponine comforts him by saying she is in no pain and that she is happy to be with him in the end.
25. “Hail, Rain, or Sunshine” by The Script
This 2014 release by Irish rock band The Script was written for the comedy Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie. The film was an abject failure, but the song handily rises above its source material. It was included on the band’s fourth album, No Sound Without Silence.
The narrator is exhausted by his demanding job but still finds a way to make the days go by happily alongside his coworkers. He brags that in “hail, rain, or sunshine,” he will keep working hard and sticking by his friends.
26. “Weatherman” by Eddie Benjamin
Rather than focusing on a certain type of weather, the most recent release on this list talks about them all. Australian singer and songwriter Eddie Benjamin’s 2022 single springs from his desire to feel in control of his life.
Its narrator demands of the weatherman only sunny days from here on out, because he needs to move on from the rain and gray that have dominated his life for too long. Either way, he is determined to stay confident and forward-thinking no matter what the weather brings.
The weather has inspired many artists over the years and even musicals. Ranging from cheerful to sombre, the above songs beautifully describe all the weather’s moods and its various connections to our lives.