If there is one constant in life, it is the weather’s impact on our daily lives. As the seasons change, so does the weather. This continuous change and various states make it an ideal metaphorical hook for musicians to express different emotions and ideas.
Whether it’s the warmth from the sun to life-giving rain, it’s incredibly versatile as a lyrical tool. In this list, we explore how musicians have used weather as a part of their songs.
“November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses
Album: Use Your Illusion I
Genre: Hard Rock / Progressive Rock
By the time the 90s rolled around, Guns N’ Roses had already established themselves as one of the defining hard rock bands of the era. But with the release of their third album, they pushed their sound into new directions.
This epic power ballad is perhaps one of my favorites from the group. It’s their third-longest song ever at an epic 8:57 in length. It reached the top 10 in several countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK, and many more. In the United States, it peaked at number 3 and sold half a million copies.
Similar Playlist: Songs With Fire In The Lyrics
“Sun is Shining” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Album: Soul Revolution Part II
Legendary Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter Bob Marley is an icon of the reggae scene with a long list of amazing songs. This incredibly uplifting tune was never released as a single, and it was a relatively unknown song for much of his life.
After his untimely death at the young age of 36 after a battle with cancer, there was a greater focus on his music, and this gem emerged as a fan favorite. The 1999 remix by Danish house music producer Funkstar De Luxe also rejuvenated interest in the song and won over a new legion of fans.
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“Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Genre: Country Rock
There is something quite special when the sun is shining, yet it begins to rain. This sunshower phenomenon is the lyrical basis of this popular song from the influential 60’s band Creedence Clearwater Revival.
While only a short song at 2:39, it stays with you thanks to its fantastic lyrics, composition, and powerful chorus. It was also a commercial success, with 3 million copies sold in the United States. It also charted strongly in several countries worldwide.
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“Weather With You” by Crowded House
Weather With You is one of the best examples of using weather in the title and lyrics of a song. It also highlights how weather can be used as a metaphor for your mood and how you are in charge of how you perceive the world around you.
This song became the most successful release from their third studio album. It was especially popular in New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK, where it made it into the top 10. While they initially disbanded in 1997, they have since reformed and released new material.
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“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
Album: Just As I Am
Genre: R&B / Soul / Blues / Folk Rock
Ain’t No Sunshine is one of the greatest songs ever to feature weather as a central theme. Released in 1971, it catapulted Bill Withers from a factory job into a musical career that spanned across the 70s and into the 80s.
You can interpret the song in various ways, but Bill Withers stated that he drew inspiration from a 1962 movie that dealt with alcoholism and how sometimes you miss something that is bad for you. It went on to sell 1 million copies in the US and charted strongly in Canada and Australia.
Similar Playlist: Songs With Thunder In The Lyrics
“Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
Genre: House / Dance-Pop
What do you get when you put two powerhouse singers into a room together to create a new song? An epic and dancefloor-friendly smash hit single that goes on to hit Gold or Platinum status in multiple countries.
But it doesn’t end at just incredible sales figures. Rain On Me also picked up several nominations and won Song of the Year at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2021.
Similar Playlist: Lyrics About Wind
“Steal My Sunshine” by Len
Album: You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush
Genre: Indie Pop / Dance-Pop
1999 was an exciting year, to say the least. People were anxious about the potential for the Y2K bug to cause serious problems, but this hit from Canadian band Len was a whimsical and catchy tune to take people’s minds off their worries.
Steal My Sunshine cleverly utilizes a loop from a section of the 1976 disco hit More More More and brilliantly combines both male and female vocals. It reached the top 10 in the UK, US, Australia, and Canada. It also sold 1 million copies in the United States.
“It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls
Genre: Hi-NRG / Post-Disco
Most people would have heard this track at one stage or another in their lives. Performed by The Weather Girls (also known as The Two Tons or Two Tons O’ Fun), it became a club hit that translated to commercial success and also became a gay anthem.
One-half of the duo later teamed up with RuPaul for a fresh take on the song in 1997. Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls fame also took a spin at the song as part of her second album released in 2001. Both of these releases were commercially successful and cemented the song as one of the most legendary songs about weather.
“Beautiful Day” by U2
Album: All That You Can’t Leave Behind
U2 were already household names when they released their tenth studio album in the year 2000. Leading the charge into the new millennium and the new album, Beautiful Day is an infectious rock song with an undeniably uplifting vibe.
Beautiful Day went on to sell half a million copies in the United States. It also hit the number 1 position in multiple countries, including the UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. An iconic song that reinforces their status as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
“Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves
Album: Walking on Sunshine
Genre: New Wave / Pop Rock
Few songs inspire as much joy as this upbeat release from the British band Katrina and the Waves. While they had already achieved some success in Canada, Walking on Sunshine was their breakthrough hit, and it just so happens to mention the weather, in this case, sunshine.
It performed well in the UK, US, Ireland, Canada, and Australia singles charts. But its enduring appeal has made it a staple for advertisers thanks to its uplifting and optimistic tone and, in the process, making the band a lot of money.
“Singin’ In The Rain” by Gene Kelly
Album: Singin’ in the Rain
A list of songs about the weather would not be complete without this iconic song from the 1952 musical of the same name. While the song was initially released in 1929, there is no denying that the iconic performance by Gene Kelly in the movie is the quintessential version of the song.
Its unique twisting and subversion of rain from something negative into something full of joy cement it as a classic. It also became an iconic reference point across pop culture throughout the decades and has been covered by multiple artists since.
“Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” by BJ. Thomas
Album: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head
Genre: Pop / Soft Rock
On the topic of timeless classics, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head is another one that comes to mind. Recorded for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it has become one of the most iconic songs from American cinema.
Upon release, it was also a commercial success reaching the number 1 position on the US Billboard charts and selling two million copies and a further one million worldwide. Uplifting and engaging from start to finish, it’s a fantastic song about the weather.
“Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles
Album: Abbey Road
Genre: Folk Pop / Pop Rock
1969 also saw the release of this popular song from the legendary rock band The Beatles. Coming from their eleventh studio album, it is among the iconic album’s most catchy and sing-a-long friendly songs.
Here Comes the Sun never received a proper single release but has become one of The Beatles’ most iconic songs. An engaging tune that speaks to people on many levels and is perfect as the capstone to a long depressing winter.
“Purple Rain” by Prince
Album: Purple Rain
Genre: Rock / R&B / Gospel
Prince is one of the most successful singers/songwriters of all time. His influence and legacy are second to none, with over 150 million sales globally and many awards. A true superstar that embodied creativity and flair in equal measure.
Purple Rain is a powerful ballad that harnesses the feeling of church gospel music to lend it a grandiose vibe. It was certified Gold in the United States and a hit internationally, reaching the top 10 in multiple countries.
14 Bonus Songs About The Weather
“Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurythmics
“Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension
“Please Don’t Stop the Rain” by James Morrison
“Sunshine on My Shoulders” by John Denver
“Raining Again” by Moby
“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
“A Year Without Rain” by Selena Gomez & The Scene
“Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
“Blame It On The Rain” by Milli Vanilli
“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood
“Never Seen the Rain” by Tones and I
“No Rain” by Blind Melon
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Judy Garland
“Why Does It Always Rain On Me” by Travis
Watch The Full Playlist
The full playlist with every song in this post can be watched via the video below or directly on our YouTube channel.