Whether you live in a warm climate or a colder climate, there’s no question that hearing songs about the cold instantly evokes certain emotions. After all, sometimes a “cold song” can simply be about the weather. Other times, it can be a beautiful metaphor for something greater.
Regardless, in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs that cover the topic of cold weather (and snow, ice and more). Hopefully, you find some great new songs to add to your playlist!
Songs About the Cold I Absolutely Love
Let’s begin with a country song performed by the Zac Brown Band.
Colder Weather by the Zac Brown Band
The song “Colder Weather” is not only about the frigid temperatures in Colorado as the song describes, but it also touches on the deeper meaning regarding a relationship that one of the band members, Durrette, explains was “an impossible love.”
He further describes that even with the best intentions, some things are not supposed to work out for one reason or another. This sets the basis for the song and provides a perspective that one may not realize when hearing the lyrics.
However, it is evident that these lyrics reflect both a realistic and metaphorical insight regarding the cold weather and the challenges it presents, as well as the cold feeling of a love that is slipping away.
The Song’s Inspiration
The inspiration of the song occurred in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Durrette explains in a 10-minute Interview he had been seeing a girl on and off, who lived in Kansas City, and due to various reasons, including geography, circumstances, and timing, they could not seem to make things work.
He further explains that they were supposed to go through Kansas City as part of the tour but the snow forced them to cancel the show in Kansas City. He further describes calling her to inform her of the change, and hearing her disappointment. The melody and words to the song came to him after this call.
When we dive into the lyrics of the song, it starts off by describing the longing the woman has for the man who makes their love so challenging.
As the lyrics say, “She’d trade Colorado if he’d take her with him,” this starts off the song by informing the audience that she would give up anything just to be with him.
It further goes to say that she “Closes the door before the winter lets the cold in,” followed by the lyrics, “And is wondering if her love is strong enough to make him stay”, and “she’s answered by the taillights shinin’ through the window pane.” These lyrics set the entire basis of the song.
He leaves behind his love to go out on the road and knows he will always be that way.
Throughout the entire song, it goes without saying that the man is unable to make it due to the colder weather, and he leaves her time and time again, and misses chances he has to see her. The woman finally sets him free because of his rambling tendencies that will never change.
She describes that he was born for leaving, which is further displayed in the lyrics. He acknowledges both his love for her and his gypsy soul which tears him away from her. He remembers her fondly and expresses his desire to see her tomorrow, when the weather is better.
This does not just refer to the fact that the stormy weather made it hard for him to meet her, it also refers to the cold feeling of a lost love that is present in the lyrics, where they each speak to each other and profess their love and the challenges that block the road to their relationship–which ultimately comes to an end.
The cold, bitter feeling of heartbreak is the metaphorical part of the song that ties the cold to their feelings, as well as the literal cold weather that makes him unable to appear when she needs him. The song ends with the longing for one another that has caused this love to remain strong, but the strains of the complications are too much for them to get through.
He understands he is not meant to be in one place and acknowledges this desire in the lyrics. However, he still longs for her and hopes that he will one day see her again. He indicates that he will always remember the girl he left behind, but they both know it is not meant to be, regardless of their love.
This is one of my favorite songs about the cold that has a lot of meaning.
Coldest Winter by Kanye West
The song is about Kanye’s mother and her early passing. The song relates the cold winter with this loss and is symbolic in the title as it expresses the “Coldest Winter” being the winter his mother passed away.
The Song’s Inspiration
The inspiration of the song was written as a “graveside eulogy” for Kanye’s mother, who passed away due to complications from a cosmetic surgery at the young age of 58.
Kanye speaks at the listening party for the album saying, “The irony for me, someone who has talked about so many labels – Louis Vuitton this, Benz that, this girl look good, I’m not going out with you if you don’t look good – the irony, for me to lose the most important person to Hollywood.”
In this statement, you can feel the tension Kanye feels about this subject and the importance of beauty that he has sung about, which was the ultimate reason for the ending of his mother’s life.
The lyrics in Kanye’s song strike down hard on the heart. You can feel his depression as he sings that “On lonely nights I start to fade” and “her love is a thousand miles away.” He describes the memories made in the coldest winter that may prevent him from ever loving again. This portion of the song connects the cold feelings of winter to the cold feelings in his heart due to the loss of his mother, who was also his friend.
He further speaks to the pain of winter reminders by singing, “If spring can take the snow away (If spring can take the snow away) Can it melt away all of our mistakes.” Here, Kanye is referring to spring helping his mistakes fade away with the snow after the brutally cold winter, which was a part of creating such a tragic memory.
As far as songs about the winter go, this song really hits hard on how brutal of a season this can be. He is not basing this off of the temperature alone, but off of the emotional pain he suffers during wintertime as the memory returns every time it begins to get colder.
He states that, “Her love’s a thousand miles away,” signifying the distance and loss that he feels, and relating the “Coldest Winter” to memories that may prevent him from ever loving again. The entire song is a dedication to his late mother and each verse is metaphorical in part, but literal in part as well.
It is easy to decipher that he the “Coldest Winter” is where his painful memories were made and that each winter is a reminder of this pain.
Winter by Khalid
This song may have a groovy and upbeat sound, but the lyrics attest to the heartbreak that Khalid feels when he is left alone to mourn in the cold of the winter. He makes it very clear that love grows colder in the winter and he is fighting the pain of the cold heartbreak while the cold weather adds to his sorrows.
The Song’s Inspiration
The inspiration of the song was inspired by the heartbreak of summer love ending in the coldness of the winter. It is discussed that Khalid emphasizes the importance of love more than the summer fling that his partner seemed to believe it to be.
In the first few verses, Khalid immediately jumps to describing how he was left out in the cold by his lover. He says “I lost my heart in the nighttime” and “she left me out in the cold,” he sings that, “she left me broken and weary” and “drunk off the lies she told.”
This immediately opens the song with a hard feeling of loss and the cold and lonely feelings he experienced after losing his love in the darkness and cold of the winter. He says, “But the days get harder in November” and that “love grows colder in the winter.”
These lyrics suggest the challenges Khalid faces in November as the months that get colder in El Paso. He openly admits that he will take his time being sad due to the quick rejection from his lover. This allows us to connect with him as not just a famous person or someone many people look up to, but simply as a human being with feelings like everybody else.
We can see the relationship between the cold weather and the cold feelings of heartbreak and hurt. In this particular song, it is evident that the winter makes it even harder for Khalid to get over his lost love because he feels lonely in the cold winter as he thinks about the breakup.
The Hounds of Winter by Sting
This song is about the loneliness brought by a winter heartbreak. It clearly explains why winter makes the feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, and related emotions harder to deal with.
The Song’s Inspiration
The song “The Hounds of Winter” by Sting is from his album “Mercury Falling” which was released in 1996. This was inspired by the many meanings regarding the album title. Sting says that it has a variety of different context, including astrological, astronomical, meteorological, and symbolic context. He believes the idea of being “mercurial” is something he has always responded to.
The song begins with the lyrics, “Mercury falling – I rise from my bed – Collect my thoughts together – I have to hold my head.” This opening immediately indicates the stress of what is coming. He further sings, “It seems that she’s gone – And somehow I am pinned – The hounds of winter – Howlin’ in the wind.” This is where it begins to get more in-depth about what is causing him so much grief. He explains how his woman is gone and he is left with these thoughts that he must hold within his head, as if they would pour out if he didn’t hold on.
The song continues as he realizes that he is alone. He seeks for companionship but he has to dry his own tears. All that he hears are the lonesome sounds of the hounds of winter that follow him down into what may be his dreaded state of mind. Analyzing these words helps us to understand that he feels alone and the winter leaves him lonely and cold.
He reminisces about how she warmed the cold nights and brought light to his days, this all making it easier to get through the winter. Now that she is gone, he feels the cold even more, and the darkness surrounds him. He says that the hounds of winter have him in their sights. This last line may seem vague, but it is informing us that all of the challenges and unpleasant things of winter have hunted him down. He is now alone to face the cold and lonely season.
These songs about the cold blatantly tell listeners how winter is such a hard season for heartbreak. In this particular song, it is clear that all of the things his lost love did for him had helped protect him from the brutal winters. Now that she is gone, he feels victimized by the winter’s lonely, painful, and frigid embrace.
The A Team by Ed Sheeran
This song is about a prostitute who must work in the painfully cold winters and how she uses drugs to keep herself going with a lack of spirit and resources to keep her alive.
The Song’s Inspiration
The song, “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran was inspired by his volunteer work at a homeless shelter and it is based on a true story about a woman named Angel who worked as a prostitute.
The song starts out by describing a woman outside in the cold winter weather. She is in poor condition, as the song describes her with white lips, a pale face, and burnt lungs. The lyrics state, “And she don’t want to go outside tonight and in the pipe she flies to the Motherland, sells love to another man,” which is a clear indication of drug use and prostitution. The fact that she is outside in the cold could have multiple meanings.
As we dig deeper into the lyrics which describe her as a “call girl” with no phone who seems to be wasting away based on the look on her crumbling face. It is evident she is a prostitute suffering in the cold.
They further describes her “Ripped gloves, raincoat” and how she tries to swim to stay afloat. This indicates that she is not only selling herself while on drugs, but that she has no means to keep herself warm, fed, and dry, among other issues related to being homeless.
The lyrics further say, “It’s too cold outside for angels to fly – an angel will die – covered in white – closed eyed – and hoping for a better life – this time, we’ll fade out tonight – straight down the line.” These lyrics near the ending of the song are the most meaningful.
It is clear that in this song, Sheeran is expressing empathy for this prostitute that he calls Angel. He describes how it is too cold for angels to fly, which can be translated using his empathetic view to the fact that it is too cold for her to thrive, and that the cold will kill her. She is thought about as just another prostitute by others, but Sheeran shows his understanding for her situation in this song’s lyrics.
This song about the not-so-pleasantweather that prevents angels from flying is really telling us that not everyone is as fortunate, and that many people suffer in the cold—especially while working awful jobs and doing drugs just to survive.
It also indicates that some people in this situation die and hope for this freedom. He does not downplay her role as a prostitute, but he does explain in a metaphorical way how she fell into this situation, what she must do to stay alive, and what is happening to her.
This is a song about empathy and compassion for those less fortunate. The cold element makes it worse and this element is what kills her, but is also what adds the detail to explain the unpleasant cold for those who have no way to stay warm and comfortable.
Traveling Alone by Jason Isbell
This song is about a man who travels alone and seeks the company of others as he travels through the challenging winter weather.
The Song’s Inspiration
The inspiration for this song comes from the challenges of artists touring in the rough winter weather on the snowy roads through the mountains and empty towns.
The song mainly speaks of this feeling he has, “I’ve gone tired of traveling alone – Won’t you ride with me?” These simple lines describe the man’s lonely travels through the rough mountains when the highway is closed and he is forced to fight the “angry snow.”
He describes how he quit talking to himself and listening to the radio and how desperate he is to have someone to travel with. He emphasizes how tired he is of traveling alone throughout the entire song.
This song about the cold weather and the impact it has on musicians who travel on tour alone, through all types of weather, including the brutal winter, and the dangerous roads. This song also speaks to truckers and those who travel for a living, who have become lonely traveling by themselves. Overall, it is a song about seeking company in the lonely drive through the winter terrain.
The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks
This song is about a man who cheats on his wife and this act causes the skies to fight back against him, producing bad weather as he continues to commit this cruel act against his wife.
The Song’s Inspiration
Garth Brooks had been listening to a song that had a line about the thunder rolling. Garth told his producer, “What if we write a song about somebody who’s cheating on his wife, and every time he does it, the thunder rolls.” This simple inspiration created one of his most widely known songs.
The song dives into the lyrics describing the empty city that appears as a ghost town on the dark, “moonless” night. The lyrics further state, “Raindrops on the windshield – There’s a storm movin’ in – He’s headin’ back from somewhere that he never should have been – And the thunder rolls.”
This is the part of the song that indicates he is cheating on his wife and even in the wild weather, she is pacing within the house, “Askin’ for a miracle – Hopin’ she’s not right – Prayin’ it’s the weather that’s kept him out all night – And the thunder rolls.”
This reveals that she is aware of the fact that her husband is cheating on her. However, she is still grateful when he returns home. The lyrics dive in further describing, “She’s waitin’ by the window when he pulls into the drive – She rushes out to hold him, Thankful he’s alive – But all the wind and rain – A strange new perfume blows – And the Lightnin’ flashes in her eyes and he knows that she knows – And the thunder rolls.
The song continues to go on saying, “the thunder rolls and the lightinin’ strikes – Another love grows cold on a sleepless night. As the storm blows on, out of control, deep in her heart, the thunder rolls.” All of the lyrics combined indicate that each time she realizes something about his cheating, the thunder rolls.
Amongst the wild weather, she catches air of another woman’s scent, and in the cold of the stormy night, another love grows cold. The extended version of the song indicates that she gets a pistol from the dresser drawer and tells the lady in the mirror, he won’t do this again. This further adds to the drama that she ends up shooting him for cheating.
Each and every time she realizes something is off, the thunder rolls. The weather is affected by his actions and her realizations. Overall, the weather is controlled by his cheating and her understanding of what he does. The song indicates that the storm is not only outside, but inside her heart as well.
Trapped Under Ice by Metallica
This song is about a man who is trapped underneath the ice and cannot escape despite his cries for help. No matter what he does, he is stuck under the ice.
The inspiration for this song comes from the feelings of pain and suffering that people experience as a result of poor circumstances and a lack of love or attention.
The song about the cold starts the song off with powerful lyrics that are a metaphor for the feeling of being trapped, alone, and helpless. The beginning states, “I don’t know how to live through this hell – Woken up, I’m still locked in this shell – Frozen soul, frozen down to the core – Break the ice, I can’t take anymore.” This clearly is indicating that this person cannot bear the hell they live in any longer.
The lyrics continue to tell us this by saying, “Freezing – Can’t move at all – Screaming – Can’t hear my call – I am dying to live – Cry out – I’m trapped under ice.” This attests to the feeling of being helpless and trapped. It further discusses how he is, “Crystallized, as I lay here and rest – Eyes of glass stare directly at death,” again this refers to the agony of this pain and entrapment.
The most vicious words strike the most significant feelings of being in a place with no way out and a future trapped in what feels like a frozen hell. The lyrics say” Scream from my soul – Fate mystified – Hell, forever more” and “No release from my cryonic state, What is this I’ve been stricken by fate – Wrapped up tight, cannot move, can’t break free – Hand of doom has a tight grip on me.”
The connection between this cold and lonely agony and the cold ice that traps him signifies the way people associate cold weather and temperatures with unpleasant feelings. In this case, rather than heartbreak, it is loneliness and entrapment with no way to escape that drives the connection between the cold and his feelings.
It is evident that this song about ice trapping a man is a metaphor for how he feels. The connection between the ice and the icy feeling of entrapment, pain, misery, and related unpleasant feelings is another example of how the feeling of coldness is connected to negative feelings.
The song is about the cold November rain that seems to be ever-present as the artist describes a relationship that he ultimately believes he can resolve, despite the hurdles the couple face.
November Rain by Guns N’ Roses
The Song’s Inspiration
The song was inspired in part by a book that was written by a rock star who was grieving about his girlfriend’s suicide. It was further inspired by the troubled relationship between Axl Rose and Erin Everly.
The song lyrics describe a troubled relationship that has many challenges that need to be overcome. Throughout the song, the lyrics describe that, “Nothin’ lasts forever – And we both know hearts can change – And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain.”
This attests to the difficulty the relationship faces and the comparison to the cold November rain is used in many verses to describe the difficulty of staying together, as well as the beauty of making the relationship last.
The comparison of the rain is also used in the verse, “’Cause nothin’ lasts forever, even cold November rain.” This clearly identifies that the challenges they face can be overcome. The metaphor of the cold November rain is used to describe that there may be challenges but nothing is permanent.
This song about the cold November rain is telling us that through good times and challenges, nothing can stand in the way, nothing can last forever, even the cold November rain. This signifies that in the end of the song, the rain will not last, meaning it is worth pressing through the challenges of the metaphorical rain to reach the other side.
When the claim is made that the rain will not last forever, it is telling us that the battle will not go on forever. There will be solace and they can compromise and love one another. This once again connects the cold weather to the troubled parts of the song in which cold and lonely feelings are present, followed by the solace of the cold rain not lasting forever.
Blown Away by Carrie Underwood
The song was written about a woman who has been abused by her alcoholic father. The song addresses the way she allowed justice to take place during a brutal tornado.
The Song’s Inspiration
The song may not have been written for Carrie Underwood originally, but it certainly ended up in her hands. Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins had written a song about justice being served which ended up being titled, “Blown Away” and sang by Carrie underwood, who certainly does justice to the song.
The song’s lyrics directly address the vengeance behind each move the woman in the song makes as she is put to the test in protecting her abusive, alcoholic father who is passed out on the couch when a tornado hits.
She chooses to let justice take over for her and sings, “Dry lightnin’ cracks, across the skies – Those storm clouds gather, in her eyes – Her daddy was a mean, old mister – Mama was an angel, in the ground – The weather man called, for a twister – She prayed, “Blow it down.”
This song builds the story to describe why she does what comes next, “Her daddy laid there, passed out on the couch – She locked herself in the cellar – Listened to the screamin’ of the wind – Some people called it, taking shelter – She called it, ‘Sweet revenge.”
The set of lyrics above describes her method of revenge that she takes against her father for all of his wrongdoings. The song describes that there is not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house, which indicates the horror she has suffered at the hands of her father. Once again, violent stormy weather is associated with a negative thing; this time being rage.
This song about the cold twister that blows away a house and acts as a method of justice against her abusive father ties together the negative feelings she has with the wild storm. This once again attests to the cold and unpleasant weather being related to negativity.
In this case, justice and revenge. No sad or angry song is complete without an aspect of bad weather to relate the issues present in the song with the cold and dreadful feeling that accompanies bad weather.
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