No matter the rough weather we face outside (or even internally within ourselves), songs about storms speak to our emotions. And, at the very least, they remind us that we are never alone. So in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs about stormy weather, be it rain, thunder, hurricanes or lightning!
Pop Songs About Storms
Let’s begin with a little bit of old school, thanks to Ms. Lena Horne.
Stormy Weather by Lena Horne
Let’s throw it back. Way back.
The song “Stormy Weather” has been performed by so many artists of yesteryear, from Ethel Waters to the amazing version by Etta James.
But let’s focus on the Lena Horne version, a beautiful rendition of a song that uses “stormy weather” as a metaphor for how Horne feels emotionally now that her relationship has turned sour.
It’s a beautifully sad song that is timeless and, of course, was also featured in the movie “Stormy Weather,” which also featured Horne.
Here Comes The Rain Again by The Eurythmics
This is one of those songs by The Eurythmics that will break your heart. The haunting electronic strings coupled with Dave Stweart’s dreamland whisper guitar will take any soul happily down this anthem of sadness.
Settling into this Annie Lennox masterpiece like a winter jacket and staying there, playing it over and over again despite the neighbor’s sleep habits. Her voice is perhaps the precursor to our love affair with Adele. Lennox’s voice is the instrument lovely bringing you down into her rain of heartache.
You won’t move.
You won’t breathe.
You’ll fall into her lyrics (“Here comes the rain again. Raining in my head like a tragedy. Tearing me apart like a new emotion”) and captively remain there because you feel less alone, comforted and caught in the painful sorrow of her voice.
We all know what it’s like to lose someone we love and feel the sorrow of that despair. This song will live on because heartbreak will always exist as long as we do. Best version is the YouTube video from her concert in Capetown, 2003. It won’t let you go. Be prepared to stay while with it.
Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
Nobody does heartbreak, anger and sorrow like Adele. Time and time again, she takes big emotions into herself and spits out relatable gems for us to blast at the end of a bar night after we see “you know who” with “so and so.”
Set Fire to the Rain is the quintessential ‘You broke my heart so like a love struck teenager I’m going to scream into the rain like a maniac because it’s over’ song.
If you get a chance to see her perform it live, it will haunt you forever. Painful emotion is universal to songs about the internal storms we weather. This song is no different. It embraces your heart and gives you an anthem to dive into and come out triumphant on the other side. Her voice is sultry; a bad*** angel in the air leaving us at the end of her song with the beautiful wail of a broken heart.
Singin’ in the Rain by Gene Kelly
Perhaps the most upbeat song about stormy weather conditions comes from arguably the most popular musical ever put to film.
In the film Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly performs a memorable song and dance number in which he is absolutely overjoyed. Sure, rain is coming down on him, and in normal circumstances, this would be reason enough to run to the nearest building for shelter.
But on this song, Gene is “ready for love” and is having an absolutely “glorious feeling” because he’s “happy again.” It doesn’t matter that he’s getting drenched from the rain. He’s so happy, he closes his umbrella to dance in the rain.
It goes to show that, no matter what’ you’re going through, and no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, if you have the right attitude in life, you can “walk down the lane with a happy refrain.”
If you love songs about the rain, you probably won’t find a more memorable or iconic track.
Umbrella by Rihanna
Arguably Rihanna’s biggest song, the pop star sings of having her man’s back through thick and thin—no matter what life throws at their relationship. Rihanna talks about the fact that, no matter how famous she gets, or how much money or material things her man amasses, that they both need each other.
And, when all of the positivity and light begins to fade, and the dark clouds and rain begin to come, Rihanna will hold up an umbrella for her man and their relationship, ensuring that she’ll always be his support system.
When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be your friend
Took an oath, I’ma stick it out ’til the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh
Rock Songs About Storms
Let’s move into the realm of rock songs, starting with The Doors.
Riders on the Storm by The Doors
This song is almost always in the top ten storm songs. And with good reason. It’s the perfect sitting on the porch watching a thunderstorm roll in while sipping on a glass of Cabernet song.
Ray Manzarek’s keyboarding actually sounds like raindrops and the thunder that accompanies Jim Morrison’s haunting voice is just a bonus. It’s a trippy song that leaves you feeling calm, relaxed, and content. Yup. Life may suck at the moment but it’s hard to not to get swept away by the peaceful trance of this Door’s gem.
Even when they go instrumental in the middle of the song and it goes on and on like a Phish show, you won’t notice because you are happily pleased with the moment because everything about this song is perfect.
Thunderstruck by AC/DC
And now you must bring out the old school 4 feet speakers, crank up the stereo and let the wind part your hair baby because you’re invincible, powerful and strong.
Like the golfer in Caddyshack, you are having the best game of your life. A perfect pump you up song compliments Angus Young’s lightning fingers, Brian Johnson’s screeching perfection and their always bada** bass section. Yes, we have been through some some stuff and now it’s time to get back up and blast one of the greatest songs about storms.
I Wish It Would Rain by Phil Collins
Put in your ear buds and take a walk around the block with this classic song about grief, regret and sorrow. Originally a song by The Temptations, Phil takes this classic staple to a heavier plane with his back catalogs of failed relationships and his uncanny soulful voice.
He grabs a hold of us towards the end of the song when he belts out, “Just let it rain down, let it rain down. Let it rain down.” You know the part. Just like you know the drum intro for his “In The Air Tonight.”
It’s a perfect porch song if you and your honey want to break out the 8th grade awkward weird slow dance. Or for the solitary quiet hours when you just need the rain. You can’t go wrong with Phil Collins. A classic from the 80’s. I’m a big fan of his music although I get the sense that he’s really not relationship type material. Just saying.
Thunder by Imagine Dragons
This is one of those songs that comes on at the bar and you leave your friends high and dry in conversation to shimmy over to the jukebox, snap your fingers and let it ride. It grabs you by the heart and won’t let go.
So you walk around the bar singing it to everyone with your beer bottle mike and then dance like you are in the rain zone of your life. It’s one of those songs that pumps you up and leaves you feeling better.
And when it’s over, you play it again because the silence is like realizing that was the last episode of Breaking Bad—you just want more.
If you’re looking for some awesome songs about thunder, and you also happen to be even a casual fan of Imagine Dragons, then you need to add this one to your playlist.
You Love the Thunder by Jackson Browne
It’s a road trip song. A moving on song. The thing about Jackson Browne’s music is his uncanny ability to take a fast moving song and then stop your heart when he slows down for a few terribly vulnerable sets of lyrics. This one is no different and deserves its place among classic songs about weather.
The slow moments of this song will stop you and leave you wishing there was more. So you keep listening until he does it again.
November Rain by Guns ‘N’ Roses
Right before Axel Rose went off the rails with GNR, he left us with this masterpiece. It’s a beautifully long and heart breaking anthem of love, loss, and sorrow. It’s about a guy who loves a girl who is afraid of love.
Sometimes people we love walk away. Sometimes we have to let them go. These painful moments are often difficult to express to the world. And then Axel throws us a bone. It’s the perfect addition to any storm-related playlist.
Please Don’t Stop the Rain by James Morrison
On this track, James Morrison pleads with his woman to help give him answers as to why she’s upset with him. He knows their relationship is potentially on the brink, and he uses rain as a metaphor to express this.
One thing I like about this song is that Morrison doesn’t want the rain to stop. He actually begs for it not to cease. I think it’s pretty clear that Morrison attempts to win his girl back by showing her that, no matter how bad life gets, he’ll be there to help them weather the tough tines together.
Storms by Fleetwood Mac
Oh, Stevie Nicks, the beloved songbird of Fleetwood Mac. She always has a way to get right into the heart of us through a song. “Storms” is an essential for any playlist.
A slow, harmonic waltz through the grief and heartache of losing someone. We feel her regret as she watches someone she loves walk away and the pain knowing that she was the force who pushed it away.
Being where we most want to be and not knowing how to be there. And most of us can relate. A choice song for those late night hours when it’s just you and the stars.
R&B Songs About Storms
Let’s transition into a little bit of R&B via the always excellent New Edition.
Can You Stand the Rain by New Edition
This track by New Edition almost serves as a litmus test for the woman these boys sing about. Sure, everybody loves when everything is going perfectly. Nobody has a problem with sunny days.
But when life gets challenging, and when adversity hits a relationship, will your woman be able to stand the rain? Will she be able to weather the upcoming storm?
That’s what the boys of New Edition are asking in this excellent R&B jam from 1988.
Sunny days, everybody loves them
Tell me baby, can you stand the rain?
Storms will come, this we know for sure
(This we know for sure)
Can you stand the rain?
Country Songs About Storms
Let’s now discuss a memorable Garth Brooks song.
The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks
Whether you are at the bar, alone in your car, or even in the grocery store, it’s hard to refrain from singing along to this essential addition to any playlist. Garth uses thunder and lightning as metaphors for the often immense anger left behind after betrayal. Being cheated on by someone you love is a painful experience.
He lets us sidle up next to him at the campfire and holds us captive with his voice, storytelling prowess and relatable lyrics. Wandering down any avenue in his discography is no different. This song without a doubt belongs on our playlist.
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