Guest Author - Anita Grace Simpson
Just for fun, here are my top 10 favorite songs with weather words in their titles! They come from different genres and different time periods, but all mention rain, snow, wind, or something else related to the weather. After you’ve read my favorites, share yours in our Weather forum!
Number Ten is a country song by Tanya Tucker called “Lizzie and the Rainman.” The song, written in 1971, was based on a movie called “Rainmaker.” A West Texas town in the middle of a drought receives a visit from a rainman, who promises to make it rain if the townspeople pay him $100. A woman named Lizzie doubts him, but the rain does come as he promised. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those rainmakers worked every time?
Number Nine is “Stormy Weather,” a blues standard from 1933 written by Harold Arlen and premiered by Ethel Waters at the Cotton Club in Harlem. It has been performed by many famous singers over the years, including Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Frank Sinatra. It uses weather as a metaphor for the singer’s sadness for a lost relationship.
Number Eight also features rain – “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” originally recorded by Roy Acuff in 1945. Willie Nelson’s cover version became his first number 1 hit in 1975, and the song itself has been included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The sad lyrics speak of a man’s love for his wife who passed away.
“Snow” by Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt is Number Seven. She arranged the music to fit a poem by Archibald Lampman which describes the shrouding of the woods and countryside with a soft, silent snowfall. Ending with the words “I dream,” Loreena’s voice is coupled with Celtic harp and other instruments in a dreamy musical setting.
It is not difficult to find songs that feature “rain” in their titles, and in most cases rain imagery is associated with sadness. However, my Number Six, a disco song by The Weather Girls, is a notable exception. “It’s Raining Men” went to number 1 on the U.S. Disco chart and number 46 on the Hot 100 in 1982. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics, which remind listeners that “Mother Nature… is a single woman too,” also mention humidity and the barometer.
Number Five of my top ten weather songs is from the 1951 Broadway musical Paint Your Wagon, which became a feature film in 1969. “They Call the Wind Mariah” is sung by a lonely Gold Rush miner who misses his girl back home. I can remember listening to the version by the folk group Kingston Trio when I was a child in the early 1970s.
The lyrics of “Sunny” by Morrissey (Number Four) don’t match the title. It sounds as if it would be a happy song, but instead it speaks of a young person caught in the grip of drug addiction. The singer expresses sadness and regret at being unable to help his friend stop using drugs.
Number Three is the classic by Irving Berlin, “Blue Skies.” Originally written for a 1926 musical, “Blue Skies” became the first song ever to be used in a film. It was performed by Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, 1927. The song celebrates good fortune and uses the common metaphor “bluebird of happiness.”
My Number Two favorite weather song is “Wind, Weather and Storm” by Buck Dharma (AKA Donald Roeser), lead guitarist of Blue Oyster Cult. The title words -- wind, weather and storm -- are examples of things in life that are unavoidable. The song is from from his solo album “Flat Out” which was first released in 1982 and reissued on CD in 2003. The album isn’t very well known, but I enjoy its mellow rock sound.
Finally, my Number One favorite weather song is the uplifting anthem by Barry Manilow, “I Made It Through the Rain.” The song has reassured me many times over the years during difficult times (represented by the rain), reminding me that those times don’t last forever and I would make it through!
What are your favorite weather songs? Share them in our forum!