I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but here in the Midwest, the weather is a popular topic of discussion. It doesn’t matter whether it’s rainy, snowy, or a perfectly sunny day – the weather is a pretty reliable conversation starter.
Here’s a collection of 10 songs about the weather, popular among older adults.
Of course, this one is a classic singalong song, probably the most likely to get the folks I see joining in singing. Who doesn’t want to hear, “you make me happy when skies are gray?” It also works well in intergenerational settings, because many people sing this as a lullaby to little kids, too.
This peppy song starts out with the direction to, “grab your coat and get your hat. Leave your worries on the doorstep.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always choose the weather we enjoy?
This 1983 hit song by Katrina and the Waves is delightfully upbeat, with a strong rhythm that begs for dancing. Use this as the grounding for movement to music, instrument playing, or creating art to music (I suggest having lots of yellow, oranges, and reds available!)
Bridging the topics of winter and windy days, this song also allows for a discussion about self-care and preparations for different weather events. (See this post for more ideas on sharing this song.)
5. Let It Snow
If it’s not December, singing this song may feel a little strange – but then again, it might feel pretty awesome in the middle of a hot July, too. Encourage everyone to sing the repeated line, “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” Or alternatively, “make it stop, make it stop, make it stop!”
When I ask people for suggestions on the topic of weather, this one almost always comes up. It seems many people only know the first few lines, so feel free to cut this short, or combine with movements to do the camp/scout version. You can also show a video clip of Gene Kelley dancing in the film of the same title.
Written for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, this song also won Hal David and Burt Bacharach the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. Strangely enough, the original clip does not involve rain. Still, this song is great for discussing ideas such as, “I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining!”
Evoking stormy weather as a metaphor for the singer’s feelings following the breakup of a romance, “Stormy Weather” was performed widely by a number of artists in the 1930s and 40s. At a slower tempo than many of the other songs on this list, this song is a lovely accompaniment to long, slow stretching or creating art to music.
This early Bob Dylan song isn’t so much about the wind as it is about peace, war, and freedom, but it does have a simple chorus of two lines, repeated. This song works well for writing new verses or piggybacking on the original lyrics, asking questions, then answering, “The answer my friends is blowin’ in the wind.”
Speaking of wind, some of the most severe wind-driven weather events in American history were the dust storms of the 1930s. Some older adults in the middle of the country can still tell stories about their childhood experiences of these dust storms. This song by Woody Guthrie references the Dust Bowl directly, while working equally well as a goodbye song.
There you have it! Of course, we could include many more weather-related songs. What’s your favorite?