20 Best Songs About Rain

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woman in raincoat standing in the rain

Music has often drawn inspiration from the weather — for example, Thunder by Imagine Dragons, Lightning Strikes by Cypress Hill, and Like a Hurricane by Crazy Horse.

Rainy days have a certain moody feel about them, so there's no surprise that there are a number of songs about rain.

According to a 2015 study, musicians appeal to the weather as “kind of an escapism.” Songwriters draw on metaphors and emotions to relate to their experiences and troubles.

Although the stylistic meaning of rain is interpreted as sadness, these songs about rain range in genre and association to create the perfect rainy day playlist. 

1. “Rain on Me” - Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande 

At the VMA’s while accepting the award for the 2020 Song of the Year, Lady Gaga explained that the song was inspired by tears.

“I remember thinking I had cried so many tears that it felt like an unfathomable downpour from my eyes. But even with that much rain, you don’t have to drown… Even though it feels like you are, you can still swim. And if there’s a strong current with a bunch of waves and they keep crashing over you, if you keep swimming, you’ll reach the center of the ocean, where it’s calm, still, and peaceful.” 

RELATED: 10 Best Songs For Anxiety (& 10 Songs That Perfectly Describe What It Feels Like)

2. “A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall” - Bob Dylan 

Released in 1963, the song was based on an old folk ballad titled “Lord Randall'.' The song was described as an anti-nuclear war anthem and it was also one of three social protest songs Dylan had recorded for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

Dylan introduced the song by saying the hard rain was “some sort of end that’s just gotta happen.” 

3. “Raining on Sunday” - Keith Urban 

Raining on Sunday was released with Urban’s second solo album and was written by Darrell Brown and Radney Foster.

Foster recalled where the title for the single came from and said, “It was raining cats and dogs on a Sunday afternoon when I went over to Darrell’s house to write, I was holding my jean jacket over my head getting in his front door and I sang, ‘When it’s raining on Sunday’ as a joke. We both laughed and he said, ‘No, that’s a cool title.’ So we sat down and started.”  

4. “Rhythm of the Rain” - The Cascades 

This was written by the Cascades lead singer John Gummoe.

According to Gummore, “I wrote ‘Rhythm of the Rain’ over a period of time, but the lyrics began while I was serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S Jason AR8. I was standing mid-watch on the bridge while we were underway to Japan. We were sailing up in the north pacific and it was raining heavily and the seas were tossing.” 

5. “The Rain Song” - Led Zeppelin 

The group wrote this romantic song after the Beatles’ lead guitarist, George Harrison, said that Led Zeppelin was not composing enough ballads. The song uses metaphors of the changing seasons to describe the changing emotions of love. The ballad ends with,  

​​”Upon us all, upon us all, a little rain must fall

Just a little rain, oh.”

6. “Rainy Night in Georgia” - Brook Benton 

With lyrics such as, 

“Find me a place in a boxcar

So I take my guitar to pass some time

Late at night when it's hard to rest

I hold your picture to my chest and I feel fine, I feel fine.”

The song describes a man who currently has no place to spend the night and is missing his lover. 

7. “Set Fire to the Rain” - Adele

The single was released on Adele’s album ‘21, where several of the songs took inspiration from her first real relationship. It deals with liberation and leaving an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

In an interview with MTV News, Adele said, “It broke my heart when I wrote this record, so the fact that people are taking it to their hearts is like the best way to recover. ‘Cause I’m still not fully recovered."

8. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” - Creedence Clearwater Revival 

The song was originally released in 1972 after Tom Fogerty announced his split from the group. It features the lead vocalist John Fogerty, Tom’s brother, detailing the heartbreak through imagery.

In a 1993 interview with the Rolling Stones, John said, “That song is really about the impending breakup of Creedence. The imagery is, you can have a bright, beautiful, sunny day and it can be raining at the same time. The band was breaking up. I was reacting: ‘Geez, this is all getting serious right at the time when we should be having a sunny day.’" 

9. “Bring on the Rain” - Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw 

“Another day has almost come and gone

Can't imagine what else could go wrong

Sometimes I'd like to hide away somewhere and lock the door

A single battle lost but not the war

'Cause, tomorrow's another day

And I'm thirsty anyway

So bring on the rain.”

This country song sparks hope and strength. It compares rain to sadness but says it will not keep us down. 

10. “Come Rain or Come Shine” - Ray Charles 

Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer it is a song of devotion to your partner. 

“I'm gonna love you like no one loves you

Come rain or come shine

High as a mountain, deep as a river

Come rain or come shine.”

RELATED: 17 Songs About Being Single For Anyone Who's Alone And Happy About It

11. “Songs About Rain” - Gary Allan 

The song details a man who just found out his ex married another guy. One of the lines says, “Well I thought I was over you, but I guess maybe I’m not.” The narrator is stuck driving around listening to songs about the rain with rain meaning sadness or heartache. 

12. “Purple Rain” - Prince 

Although the song was originally meant to be a country duet with Stevie Nicks, Prince was able to rework it and take it out of the country genre.

According to Prince, purple rain meant, “When there's blood in the sky – red and blue = purple... purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/God guide you through the purple rain."

13. “Umbrella” - Rihanna 

“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

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Now that it's raining more than ever

Know that we'll still have each other

You can stand under my umbrella.”

Rihanna used the umbrella as a metaphor for her promise to support someone she cares about. 

14. “Fool in the Rain” - Led Zeppelin

“Fool in the Rain” was the last single the band released before their breakup in 1980.

The origin of the song actually came from John Paul Jones and Robert Plant when they were watching the 1978 FIFA World Cup tournament in Argentina where a heavy samba beat was present. The song covers the story of a man who is in love with a woman who doesn’t love him back. 

15. “Only Happy When it Rains” - Garbage

Drummer and co-producer Butch Vig told Genius, “‘Only Happy When It Rains’ was about what happened with grunge and the angst-filled thing which has dominated the American alternative rock scene. With us there’s self-deprecation, we have to poke fun at ourselves because we’re so incredibly obsessive about the songs and the lyrics, which makes us filled with self-loathing, hurhur.” 

16. “It’s Raining Men” - The Weather Girls

Although written from the perspective of women, this song details how there will be enough men for women and men. It has since been embraced as a classic in dance music.  

17. “Singin’ in the Rain” - Gene Kelly 

“Let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place

Come on with the rain, I've a smile on my face

I walk down the lane with a happy refrain

Just singin', singin' in the rain.”

Kelly describes being able to smile when all we see is dark. 

18. “Rain” - The Beatles 

According to John Lennon, ‘Rain’ was “the first time that we had used a backward voice on a track…The first backward tape on any record anywhere. Before Hendrix, before The Who, before any f*cker. Maybe there was that record about ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Haaa!’; maybe that came out before ‘Rain,’ but it’s not the same thing.”

19. “Rainy Days and Monday’s” - The Carpenters 

The song was composed in 1971 by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams and was released as the first track on the album Carpenters. The song describes someone’s journey with their emotions. 

“Talkin’ to myself and feeling old 

Sometimes I’d like to quit 

Nothin’ ever seems to fit

Hangin’ around

Nothin’ to do but frown 

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

20. “Rain Falls” - Frankie Knuckles

​​

The song begins with the spoken word of Lisa Michaelis with the sound of rainfall in the background. The song continues with classic piano to create a song made for disco. 

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Sydney Taylor is a writer who covers self and entertainment topics.