The rainy days are just around the corner, and that means whipping out your music playlist and listening to some of your favorite songs while you sip coffee by the window. If you’re open to suggestions, we’d like to show you some of the best songs written about storms.
Whether it’s some good old country music, heavy rock & roll, or an emotional pop song, we’re certain you’ll love listening to the following tracks sooner or later.
Songs About Storms
Here are the best and most popular songs written about storms.
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Release Date: April 27, 2017
A song which is presumably about Dan Reynolds’s, the band’s lead singer, success story, Thunder by Imagine Dragons is our first song about storms on this list. The first lines of the song go:
“I was dreaming of bigger things and
Wanna leave my own life behind
Not a “Yes, sir,” not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder”
People believe this to be a metaphor for being who you really are and reaching for your dreams.
2. Set Fire to the Rain
Release Date: July 4, 2011
Can you believe that this song is over ten years old? It seems like it was only yesterday that the whole world was listening to this. Set Fire to the Rain is a powerful song written by Adele that talks about the liberating feeling of freeing yourself of the pain after a relationship ends.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Release Date: January 5, 1976
Bob Dylan is one of the most popular rock artists in the history of music. His song Hurricane, which he co-wrote with Jacques Levy, actually has a rather dark theme. The lyrics go:
“An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over ‘til they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done.”
Hurricane is the moniker of Rubin Carter, an American-Canadian boxer who served 20 years in prison after being wrongly charged with murder. Bob Dylan’s song discusses racial discrimination and the overall injustice towards people of color.
4. The Lightning Strike
Artist: Snow Patrol
Album: A Hundred Million Suns
Release Date: January 1, 2008
Snow Patrol may have been famous for their song Chasing Cars, but their song The Lightning Strike is also a feast for the ears. The song goes,
“The perfect halo
Of gold hair and lightning
Sets you off against
The planet’s last dance
Just for a minute
The silver forked sky
Lit you up like a star
That I will follow.”
Gary Lightbody narrates his experience in Glasgow, where he encountered a heavy storm. It’s also a perfect portrayal of how storms can paradoxically be beautiful yet frightening.
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad
Release Date: March 8, 2007
Under my umbrella, ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh. Ah, yes. Who could forget this iconic song from Rihanna? Despite all the popular songs she released more recently, Umbrella remains to be one of her widest-selling tracks.
In this song, Rihanna portrays the storm or the rain as something negative. She then uses the umbrella as a metaphor to protect someone from the harshness of the weather.
6. Laughter in the Rain
Artist: Neil Sedaka
Album: Laughter in the Rain
Release Date: October 1974
Everyone seems to view the storm as something bad or negative. However, Neil Sedaka paints a whole new picture where a person, maybe Neil Sedaka himself, reminisces a memory of laughing in the pouring rain with his loved one.
“Sharing our love under stormy skies
Oh, I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Oh, how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside”
It seems like Neil is one of the few artists who enjoy the rain.
7. Wild is the Wind
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Station to Station
Release Date: November 11, 1957
Wild is the Wind was recorded as early as 1957 for a film with the same name, but it was only in 1976 that David Bowie included it in an album. This melancholic song is leaning more on Bowie’s gentle and tender side, and it’s perhaps one of the most emotional songs you’ll ever hear.
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Release Date: October 12, 1979
If you’re looking for a song about storms, perhaps Fleetwood Mac’s Storms is what will get you through. The storm discussed in the song is the personality of someone who is a bit intense, which can also mean uncontrolled and problematic.
“So I try to say goodbye, my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
Always been a storm.”
It was rumored that Storms is about Stevie Nick’s relationship with Mick Fleetwood, the band’s lead singer and drummer, respectively, and how it ended.
9. Like a Hurricane
Artist: Neil Young
Release Date: May 27, 1977
Here’s a fun fact for you; Like a Hurricane is more than eight minutes long and was written after Neil Young’s vocal cord surgery, which means he couldn’t sing or even talk at the moment. What he did was write two lines on an envelope;
“You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye.”
Neil’s band, Crazy Horse, struggled with the song for more than a week before finally coming up with a simpler take on it. The rest, as they say, is history.
10. Shelter from the Storm
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Blood on the Tracks
Release Date: January 20, 1975
It seems Bob Dylan really takes inspiration in harsh weather as he wrote and released another hit song called Shelter from the Storm. The song seems to talk about the experiences of a warrior or even a Christ-like person,
“’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm”
However, people believe that this is actually a song about a love affair and how it can provide the person with redemption.
11. Thunder Road
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Born to Run
Release Date: August 25, 1975
Bruce Springsteen is undeniably a rock icon in the music industry. The song Thunder Road seems to be a metaphor for life being a rollercoaster ride with all its ups and downs. However, the song is so full of symbolism and metaphors that we can’t say for certain. Nonetheless, Thunder Road should definitely be in everyone’s playlist.
Album: The Razors Edge
Release Date: September 10, 1990
Here’s another “old but gold” song from one of the most legendary rock music icons in history. Thunderstruck, from the Australian rock band AC/DC, is a song about celebration and good times. The song talks about being caught out of the blue but in a good way. The song is one of AC/DC’s best tracks, which always earned it a spot on their live setlist.
13. Distant Thunder
Artist: Richard Clapton
Album: Distant Thunder
Release Date: May 5, 1993
Richard Clapton, who got his name from two of his favorite artists, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, is a musician from Australia. Despite not being known throughout the globe, he’s actually a great singer and lyricist.
His song Distant Thunder talks about life, how we face it, and how we must try and keep moving forward.
“These are the days we have been waiting for so long
But now is the time to set things right
Right here at home
Down along the front
‘Til we set things right at home”
With lyrics such as these, you already know it’s a great song.
14. Riders on the Storm
Artist: The Doors
Album: L.A. Woman
Release Date: June 27, 1971
If you want a song about storms to listen to on a rainy day, this 7-minute track shouldn’t fail you. It even includes sound layers of thunder and rainfall. Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors, unexpectedly died on July 3, 1971, just less than a week after the release of Riders on the Storm, making it the last song he ever recorded.
What makes this song even more coincidental, if not eerie, is that the lyrics are somewhat a metaphor for Morrison’s life, making the track a symbolic autobiography.
“Riders on the storm
Into this house, we’re born
Into this world, we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm”
15. Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Album: Let It Bleed
Release Date: December 5, 1969
Gimme Shelter is a song about all the turmoil happening at the time it was written. 1969 was the year that the country was at war with Vietnam; there were also race riots all across the globe; and, well, Charles Manson. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger perceived this series of events as a catastrophic storm, and the song talks about trying to find shelter from it, hence the title.
16. Stormy Weather by The Pixies
Artist: The Pixies
Release Date: August 13, 1990
This song from The Pixies is perhaps the one with the most simplistic lyrics on this list.
“It is time
It is time for
It is time for stormy weather
It is time”
That’s basically what Charles Thompson IV, more famously known for the name Black Francis, sang for three and a half minutes. Nonetheless, its simple lyrics amplified the song’s overall vibe and highlighted the powerful vocals and gritty instruments of the band.
17. After the Storm
Artist: Mumford & Sons
Album: Sigh No More
Release Date: January 1, 2010
After the Storm was actually a bonus track in the band’s Sigh No More album. The song talks about life and how frightening it can be. Nonetheless, the persona on the track seems to understand that that’s just how life is, and we must all stand tall and see the beauty after all the hardships or the calm after the storm.
We can see this clearly in the first verse that goes;
“Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind and not this heart
I won’t rot”
We can further emphasize the value of perseverance in the chorus that goes;
“But there will come a time
You’ll see, with no more tears
And love will not break your heart
But dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see
What you find there
With grace in your heart
And flowers in your hair”
These lyrics, combined with the melancholic melody, makes the song a really emotional track to listen to, which is perfect for moments of contemplation during rainy days.
18. It Will Rain by Bruno Mars
Artist: Bruno Mars
Album: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Movie OST)
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Who else remembers those days when Bruno Mars’s songs were mostly about being a hopeless romantic or broken-hearted? Although It Will Rain was released as a soundtrack for the movie series Twilight, it didn’t stop all of us from listening to the painful lyrics of being so frightened to lose someone. We’ve all been there, right?
Bruno Mars even went on to explain that he wrote the song because the Twilight movies seem to talk about a darker side of love. However, Bruno Mars actually didn’t like the final mix of the song and had to turn off the radio upon hearing it play.
19. It’s Raining Men
Artist: The Weather Girls
Release Date: September 10, 1982
A song title very appropriate for the duo’s (Martha Wash and Izora Armstead) name. Believe it or not, the duo’s name was actually changed because of the song. They were first known as Two Tons O’ Fun, but after recording It’s Raining Men, the duo decided to change their name to The Weather Girls so it’d be better suited for the song.
It became a gay anthem, which all of us are probably very familiar with, and that’s a great thing because the song was actually dedicated to the gay community and was a celebration of their culture.
20. Through the Rain
Artist: Mariah Carey
Release Date: September 30, 2002
This song talks about making it through every challenge you’re faced with as long as you believe in yourself. Standing back up every time you fall is the main theme of the song, and it surely did touch the hearts of many.
However, did you know that the music video for this song is actually loosely based on the love story of Carey’s parents? They both faced discrimination and prejudice because they came from different races.
21. Purple Rain
Album: Purple Rain
Release Date: June 25, 1984
Prince was inspired by Bob Seger, who wrote slow songs such as Night Moves and Mainstreet. These songs were very relatable, and Prince was amazed at how these songs touched people’s hearts. So, Prince decided to write in the same style and came up with Purple Rain.
Prince also made movies, and Purple Rain was the soundtrack of his very first film. The song also won him an Oscar for Best Original Song Score.
Whether it’s rock, metal, mellow, R&B, country, or any other genre, we all look for the best songs to listen to when it rains. Thankfully, artists seem to take inspiration from this weather, too. So, the next time the rain is pouring on your windowpane, be sure to refer to our list of songs about storms.