Saturday, May 12, 2012

Great Weather Songs

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I'm out of ideas this weekend given the boring weather, so here's a post on great weather songs.  Yes, meteorologists do geek out like this.  Here are some of my favorites:
  • Like a Hurricane, Neil Young.  My personal #1, the use of hurricane here is metaphorical, but the guitar solo is one of rock's greatest and captures the essence of being in a storm, be it emotional or tropical.  
  • The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot.  Most meteorologists would probably call this the greatest weather song of all time.  I once had it on 45.  It was one of the first singles I owned.  Here's a snippet.  
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'

The dawn came late and the breakfest had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan.  "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Inspired the name for another band, The Weathermen.  'Nuf said.  
  • Rock You Like a Hurricane, The Scorpions.  VH1 rated this the 18th greatest hard rock song of all time and the 4th best riff of the 80s.  The video is a classic.  Yes, I saw them live in the 80s, possibly a couple of times, but am not in this video.  
  • Thunderstruck, AC/DC.  Na na na na na, THUNDER.  Toss up with Rock You Like a Hurricane for the best heavy metal weather song.  
  • Cool Change, Pure Prairie League.  This is a stealthy weather song.  I doubt Pure Prairie League was making a connection with weather during this song, but Cool Change is a name that is sometimes used to describe the onshore surge of cool marine air in southeast Australia or a cold-frontal passage.  Put this on in July when it's 100+ in the shade.  
  • Love Reign O'er Me, The Who. Yeah, I know, Reign, not rain, but has Roger Daltry ever sounded better than when he screams LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE, Reign O'er Me, O'er Me, O'er Me.  Besides, this is a weather song:
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spent apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain

The nights are hot and black as ink
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain
  • Pop Song 89, R.E.M.  It's not easy being a meteorologist.  We don't like to make small talk by discussing the weather.  We take it too seriously.  Michael Stipe mocks it nicely for us in this song.    
Hello, I saw you, I know you, I knew you
I think I can remember your name
Hello, I'm sorry, I lost myself
I think I thought you were someone else
Should we talk about the weather?
  • Blowin' in the wind, Bob Dylan.  "The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind." I keep waiting for a student to put that down on one of my tests when they don't know the answer.  
  • Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles.  This is a George Harrison song.  You can tell because it stirs your soul from the first note to the last.  
  • Like the Weather, 10,000 Maniacs.  The antithesis of Here Comes the Sun.  
Color of the sky as far as I can see is coal gray
Lift my head from the pillow and then fall again
Shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather
Quiver in my lip as if I might cry
  • Beyond the Edge, Dan Fogelberg.  This is more ski oriented than weather related, but I've added it because it anyway.  We aren't the Wasatch Weather Weenies for nothing.  

Feel free to add to the list, but leave these out:
  • Riders on the Storm, The Doors.  Starts good, but after the thunder and rain, I can't stand the song.  
  • Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, B.J. Thomas.  Really?  Get an umbrella.  
  • Sunshine on My Shoulders, Bob Denver.  Sorry, but sunshine on my shoulders gives me sunburn.  


  1. "Weather With You" -- Crowded House

  2. There are plenty of fun weather songs for kids that I have been playing to Zola. For adults, however, there are way fewer than there should be.

  3. Jim, Have to add some!

    Eddie Rabbitt - "I Love a Rainy Night"

    Bob Seger - "Against the Wind"

    "Night Moves"
    ..I awoke last night to the sound of thunder,
    How far off I sat and wondered...

    Michael Martin Murphy - "Wildfire"

    John (not Bob) Denver had a nice set of four songs "Season Suite" - one for each season. These were not popular, but I once had the album they were on and listened to them often.

    Bob Dylan was probably not refering to our kind of Weatherman!


  4. I've seen so many Bob Dylan references... How could anyone forget "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan? Its more about civil rights than a real hurricane, but still...

    Even my generation has to know that one. Its in the movie Dazed and Confused.

    1. Will:

      Indeed, that is a great song. I left it off because Hurricane was used as a nickname and the subject was too important to trivialize, but you are right. An amazing song and one of my favorites.

    2. Hey Jim- good stuff. Did you mean Little River Band's "Cool Change"? Either way, good choices.-Grant Weyman

  5. Lil Wayne - "Make It Rain"

  6. Hi Jim,

    If you're looking for post ideas, many of us are getting psyched for the annular eclipse on Sunday evening May 20th. Since it is happening near sunset, dust in the air or scattered cloudiness is going to make a big difference for observation. Can we hold out hope for more "severe clear" on Sunday? My camping plans are to be on the center line outside of Zion, can't wait, this is gonna be a weekend to remember!

  7. Not Pure Prairie League, Little River Band.

    My personal favorite: "Air" by Talking Heads.

    "Some people say not to worry about the air.
    Some people don't know s--t about the...