Rain evokes all sorts of emotions. Sitting inside on a gloomy, drizzly day can be depressing. But, getting caught in a summer thunderstorm can be invigorating and electric.
Rain can be refreshing and desirable after a long drought. Raindrops can also be a perfect metaphor for tears or even a great way to hide them when they come pouring down.
Songs about rain have been around since the beginning of music. And lyricists continue to use rain as a powerful image for emotions of all kinds. Some of the best still get played daily. But, when the sky is dark with clouds, they might get played just a little bit more.
Ultimate Classic Rain Songs
Outside of children’s songs like “Rain, Rain Go Away” and traditional rain dances, there are still a couple of classic rain songs. I don’t know about you, but when I think about the rain, these two songs spring to mind immediately.
Top 130 Best Songs About Rain
Singin’ in the Rain – Gene Kelly
This is the first rain song I think of. It was released as part of the soundtrack to the 1952 film of the same name, Singin’ in the Rain starring Donald O’Conner, Debbie Reynolds, and the legendary Gene Kelly.
The movie was a minor hit when it came out. But, it has since become a classic film that just about everyone has seen. That’s thanks in no small part to Gene Kelly’s performance singing and dancing to the song “Singin’ in the Rain.”
His character ends a date with a kiss and is so elated he dances his way home. He gets drenched, but nothing can spoil his mood. The lyrics are something we can all relate to when nothing can get you down. “Singin’ in the rain – Just singin’ in the rain – What a glorious feeling – I’m Happy again!”
Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head – B.J. Thomas
There’s only one other song that comes immediately to mind every time I step out into the rain. B.J. Thomas’ classic “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
This song was written by the legendary Burt Bacharach with lyricist Hal David for the 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It was recorded by B.J. Thomas and his is still the lightest, sweetest, and most well-known version of this song.
This song was a huge hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100. It also won an Oscar for Best Original Song. It has been heard on every easy-listening/adult contemporary radio station for decades. It’s probably the most recognized song about the rain ever recorded. Except for one. But that comes later.
Furthermore, you can even hear it in 2004’s “Spiderman 2”. After Thomas sings “Nothing’s worrying me,” this song also has one of the coolest outros ever in an easy-listening song.
Pop / Rock Rain Songs
Rain has been a constant theme in pop and rock hits for the past six decades or more. Some are happy, some are sad, and others still are triumphant. But, none are as unforgettable as this following list.
Rain – Beatles
“Rain” might not be one of The Beatles’ best-known songs, but it’s still a pretty darned cool tune. This track features the trademark vocal harmonizing of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with John Lennon singing lead vocals.
Released in 1966 as the B-side of the “Paperback Writer” single, it also has a jangly mid-60s guitar sound. And Ringo Starr is having a great time playing a funkier, more-involved beat than you normally get from him.
There’s even a backward-played vocal track in the last verse that was the first time this recording technique was used in popular music.
Altogether, this is a song that works…
The reason it wasn’t such a big hit was that it was simply overshadowed by the success of “Paperback Writer.” This was one of The Beatles’ first psychedelic-sounding songs. And it helped the group start on a new, highly experimental trajectory.
A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
One of the most memorable songs about rain that you’re ever going to hear is “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” by the legendary Bob Dylan. This song is a simple country-folk-style guitar accompanied by an ask-and-answer singing style. But, at the same time, this is an epic poem and stark protest song.
Or, perhaps it was a warning to us all…
The hard rain that’s a-gonna fall is Dylan’s prophesy that humankind would meet some great doom. He claims to have written the poem as a collection of the first lines of songs he wanted to write but felt he might not ever be able to, so nigh was doomsday.
This was in 1962, when the Cuban Missile Crisis and the fear of global nuclear destruction were running high. It was then used as a powerful protest song throughout the 60s.
This popular rain song has also been covered dozens of times. Notably and recently, Patty Smith sang it at the ceremony to award Dylan with a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Have You Ever Seen the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
John Fogerty and the CCR boys had a rough time working together. Their professional and personal relationships tore Creedence Clearwater Revival apart. 1970s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” is a song that was at least partially written about that disintegration.
According to Fogerty, the song was written about the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band. Furthermore, the entire band was rich and famous and yet unhappy about their lives and their work together.
That’s why he sang, “I wanna know – Have you ever seen the rain? – Comin’ down on a sunny day?” So, it’s not a happy song like the sun shining through a rainstorm. Instead, it’s rain coming to ruin a nice sunny day. It’s still a great, powerful song, though.
Fire and Rain – James Taylor
The same year the CCR was writing songs about breaking up, James Taylor was writing a lament of an even deeper and more personal nature. In 1970, Taylor recorded and released the song “Fire and Rain,” which was full of sadness and longing.
The song combines his feelings about the suicide of a close friend, his battle with drug addiction and depression, and his dealing with fame. This song features James Taylor’s soothing voice over soft guitar and piano with a slow 70s beat.
It’s stripped-down and emotional…
If you listen to the lyrics, you might just start making your own little private rainstorm when he sings, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain – I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end – I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend – But I always thought that I’d see you again.”
Box of Rain – Grateful Dead
It seems like 1970 was one of the biggest years in history for sad rain songs. The Grateful Dead got in on the action with “Box of Rain” off their album, American Beauty. This is arguably one of the best songs from this great American jam band.
“Box of Rain” is one of the very few Dead songs that was sung by bassist Phil Lesh and would be introduced by the crowd chanting “Let Phil sing!” at live concerts. It’s not a hugely sad-sounding song, with the typical jangly guitars and bright vocal harmonizing characteristic of this band.
But, the lyrics by Robert Hunter, the band’s off-stage lyricist, were written for Lesh’s father, who was dying of cancer. “A box of rain will ease the pain – And love will see you through” is a deeply emotional offering from a son to his father.
Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters
If you want a truly rainy song, one you can stay in and mope to, this one’s for you. “Rainy Days and Mondays” by The Carpenters is one of the duo’s best-known tracks. This is one of the smoothest Soft Rock songs they put out, complete with wistful strings and a short but buttery sax solo.
Released as a single in 1971, this is a heartfelt love song. Karen Carpenter sings about sadness and depression, and the only cure is her lover. It’s at times romantic and also truly sad.
With her distinct, powerful voice, she sings, “Hanging around – Nothing to do but frown – Rainy days and Mondays always get me down,” foreshadowing her tragic battle with anorexia that eventually ended her life.
The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin
“The Rain Song” is one of Led Zeppelin’s most sentimental songs and a big departure for this Hard Rock band. It was released in 1973 on the band’s 5th album, Houses Of The Holy.
Apparently, it was written by Jimmy Page as an answer to a challenge from George Harrison of The Beatles, who said they couldn’t write ballads.
This is a long song…
Over seven minutes long, it traipses across styles. It starts so quiet and beautiful with delightfully sweet guitar chords, builds up to a slightly rocking rhythm, then descends into an almost classical guitar ending.
The lyrics are also some of the sweetest sung by Robert Plant. It’s not wholly and explicitly about rain, but the mood is very much one of staring out a window on a rainy day. And Plant singing, “Upon us all, upon us all, a little rain must fall,” only adds to that wistful feel.
Fool in the Rain – Led Zeppelin
Led Zep returns to our list of songs about rain with a different kind of song, but one with a distinct rain theme. “Fool in the Rain” is a track from In Through the Out Door, the band’s last album released in 1979 before they disbanded in 1980.
This is a fun, swinging Rock song…
Of course, one with a beat by John Bonham that’s one of his best known. The song also changes into a Samba carnival breakdown that’s a real dance floor pumping number, something that’s again a total departure for Led Zep.
Even Jimmy Page’s guitar solo, played with an ultra-sharp, strange guitar tone, added some flair to this song.
The music was already fun, but the lyrics add to that. Even though it’s something of a song about unrequited love, there are also the usual sexual overtones that Led Zep is known for. This makes it a song that’s fun, brash, and full of energy.
Purple Rain – Prince
There’s hardly a list of Best XXX Songs out there that doesn’t include a Prince tune. This artist wrote and produced about a song a day for a good part of his career, creating an output that was more or less unmatched.
But “Purple Rain” has to be one of his most memorable tunes. This song was dedicated to his father but is written to a lover. It was part of the soundtrack for and featured in the movie Purple Rain which starred Prince.
This song is a slow Rock power ballad that’s emotional and powerful. According to Prince, “purple rain” will come at the end of the world when there is red blood in the blue sky. The song is about sitting with your lover at the End of Days waiting for judgment. Yeah, man, heavy.
It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Let’s lighten things up a lot. “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls has got to be one of the most joyous rain themed-songs out there. Put out in 1983; this was a late disco-era or even post-disco song that has ended up becoming a legendary club track.
It’s fun and punchy, and the singers’ great voices have a whole lot to do with that. The song has also been covered by Martha Walsh with the inimitable RuPaul and by Geri Haliwell of the Spice Girls, both artists taking advantage of this song’s staying power.
With the “It’s raining men – Halleluiah” chorus, it’s also no surprise that this song became a major gay anthem in the 1980s club scene. And, when it comes on in a club today, while a bit dated, it still gets about the same great reception as ever.
Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics
1983 was also the year Eurythmics put out “Here Comes the Rain Again” on their album, Touch. Written by Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, this track moves away from disco and into the early 80s electronic sound. Yet, this brilliantly-produced song sounds more mature than other early techno.
Annie Lennox’s voice is so perfect, deep, and luscious on this track. When she sings, “Here comes the rain again – Falling on my head like a memory – Falling on my head like a new emotion,” you can feel the depth of this drenching imagery.
I could do without the synth solo on this track, but otherwise, it’s an excellent song. And is easily one of the best songs about rain generally.
Rain – Madonna
Madonna’s 1992 Erotica album explored themes of love, sexuality, and deep emotion, all in a pop context. I think “Rain” is one of the most underrated tracks on that adventurous and risky album.
“Rain” is lush, sweet, and juicy. Far from depressing, Madonna’s rain is a refreshing, revitalizing, thirst-quenching blessing. The lyrics for this song are romantic and matched perfectly by her clean and powerful voice. And the video for this song is one of Madonna’s most beautiful and sexy.
No Rain – Blind Melon
Blind Melon’s “No Rain” may seem like it’s an anti-rain song. But, singer Shannon Hoon sings, “I don’t understand why I sleep all day – And I start to complain that there’s no rain.” Confusing?
The song was penned by bassist Brad Smith who was writing about his girlfriend at the time suffering from depression. She would complain when the weather didn’t match her depressed mood.
But, in the end, this turned into a cheery, bouncy, fun track that in 1993 helped catapult this band to instant fame. And its instantly recognizable intro guitar diddle is enough to get people up out of their seats even today.
Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
When Garbage put out their 1995 debut album, Garbage, they chose “Only Happy When It Rains” as the lead single at the very last minute. They must have realized that the peppy, alt-rock sound was going to be the perfect song for the times.
While the lyrics sound dark, like “Pour your misery down on me” and “I’m only happy when it rains,” this song was something of a parody. It was written in response to the angst-filled songs that flooded alternative rock in the early 1990s and even mocks the band’s earlier songs.
At the same time, Singer Shirley Manson’s in-your-face style helped to make this song into the tough-girl anthem it’s still considered today.
Modern Rain Songs
Some of the best-known rain songs have come out in recent years. And I’m sure more will be added to this list in the not-so-distant future as well. Here are some of the best.
Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” came out in 2011 on her second album, 21. This is one of her most powerful songs, and that says a lot considering how powerful a singer she is. It went to #1 in the US and many other countries and cemented Adele’s reputation as a diva.
With lyrics like, “I set fire to the rain – Let it pour as I touched your face,” this intense track is a scorching ballad of lost love. It’s full of emotion, and believe me; this is a song that has echoed from many a shower.
Rain Over Me – Pitbull (feat. Marc Anthony)
Rain was big in 2011, and “Rain Over Me” also came out that year on Pitbull’s 6th album, Planet Pit. Like most of Pitbull’s work, this is a peppy, bouncy dance song designed to get butts out of seats. So, it’s no surprise that he uses rain as a positive image here.
Marc Anthony’s powerful voice sings the refrain, “Girl my body don’t lie – I’m outta my mind – Let it rain over me” while Pitbull raps in English and Spanish. This is all over a thunderous house beat that gets people shaking it.
The video was shot in the desert to illustrate sexual tension, then resolves with the two artists dancing in the rain.
Rain On Me – Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
Another dance number, “Rain On Me,” is the most recent rain song on our list, released in 2020 on Lady Gaga’s album, Chromatica. This bouncy number sees Gaga joined by Ariana Grande to create a dance hit which won the pair a Grammy and MTV Music Award as well.
The lyrics include the line, “I’d rather be dry – But I’m glad I’m alive – Rain on me,” showing a celebration of life through sadness.
The rain here is tears caused by the struggles in life. But, it’s a positive anthem of perseverance and a song full of energy that can get your day started in the right direction.
The Best Songs About Rain Ever
I mentioned this at the start of this article on songs about rain. Other than “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” the most successful song about rain just has to be…
November Rain – Guns ‘n’ Roses
GNR has the honor of being the band with the best known, or at least most listened-to rain song ever. While this Hard Rock power ballad wasn’t extremely successful when it came out in 1992, it has since stood the test of time.
An epic track at nearly nine minutes, this song has a soulful Axl Rose singing at the piano, a full orchestra, and intense Slash solos that build the song to a powerful crescendo. This is a big, long, emotional, and powerful song.
The music video for “November Rain” was just as epic and cost a mint to make. It’s also one of the most successful videos of all time. This was the first pre-Youtube video to reach a billion views on YouTube and now sits at over 1.9 billion views. That’s one heck of a rainstorm at your wedding.
Rainy Night in Georgia – Brook Benton
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan
Rainy Day – Coldplay
Crying in the Rain – The Everly Brothers
Rain King – Counting Crows
I Love a Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbitt
Rain Down on Me – Kane
Rain or Shine – Five Star
It’s Raining Again – Supertramp
Blame It on the Rain – Milli Vanilli
Rainy Zurich – The Fray
Raincheck – Thom Yorke
Raining Blood – Slayer
Rainy Day People – Gordon Lightfoot
Rainy Days – Mary J. Blige
Rain Is a Good Thing – Luke Bryan
A Little Bit of Rain – Fred Neil
The Rain, the Park & Other Things – The Cowsills
Rainy Dayz – Raekwon (feat. Ghostface Killah & Blue Raspberry)
It’s Raining Today – Scott Walker
Rainy Night House – Joni Mitchell
Rain – SWV
Rainy Dayz – Mary J. Blige (feat. Ja Rule)
Rain Dance – The Guess Who
Rain – Mika
Red Rain – Peter Gabriel
Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades
Rainy Day Dream Away – Jimi Hendrix
The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) – Missy Elliott
Rainy Day Crossroad Blues – Robert Johnson
Rainy Days and Fridays – The Partridge Family
Don’t Rain on My Parade – Barbra Streisand
Rainin’ in My Heart – Slim Harpo
Rains of Castamere – The National
A Rainy Night in Soho – The Pogues
Black Rain – Soundgarden
Rain – Trivium
Rainy Night in Georgia – Randy Crawford
Acid Rain – Avenged Sevenfold
Rain in May – Max Werner
More 70 Songs About Rain
- After the Rain – Nelson
- Rainy Season – Hunter Hayes
- Red Raincoat – Jeremy Fisher
- Rain Keeps Falling – Freddie McGregor
- Rainy Night House – Leonard Cohen
- Singin’ in the Rain – Jamie Cullum
- Summer Rain – Belinda Carlisle
- The Rainy Season – Howard Jones
- The Rain Song – The Mint Juleps
- Rain of Gold – Young Empires
- Rainy Days – Tia Carroll
- Rain Falls Down – Weezer
- Who’ll Stop the Rain – Smokie
- Raining in My Heart – Buddy Holly
- Raincoat – Timeflies
- Purple Raincoat – Sara Bareilles
- Rain Check – Kenny Chesney
- Rain – Patty Griffin
- Rain – The Script
- It’s Raining Today – Scott Matthew
- Red Rain in Her Eyes – Matthew Good
- Raindrops – Basement Jaxx
- Raining Again – Betoko
- When It Rains – Paramore
- Rain – Bishop Briggs
- Rain Falls – Oh Wonder
- Here Comes the Rain – The Mavericks
- Rain, Rain, Rain – Roxy Music
- The Rain Song – The Lemonheads
- Rain – The Cult
- In the Rain – The Dramatics
- Walking in the Rain – The Ronettes
- Early Morning Rain – Gordon Lightfoot
- Rain on the Scarecrow – John Mellencamp
- It’s Raining Today – Agnes Obel
- Rain Dance – The Doobie Brothers
- Rainy Season – Marc Cohn
- Acid Raindrops – People Under The Stairs
- Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
- Rain, Rain – Roachford
- Raining Down – Mat Kearney
- Rain – Bishop Allen
- Rainy Night – Eddie Vedder
- Rain of Love – Engelbert Humperdinck
- Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again – The Fortunes
- Rain Down – Delirious?
- Rain of Crystal Sins – HIM
- Tears in the Rain – Joe Satriani
- Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows
- The Rain Don’t Last – Keb’ Mo’
- Raindrops – Regina Spektor
- Rain Dance Maggie – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Raining Men – Rihanna (feat. Nicki Minaj)
- Raincheck on Misery – Emmylou Harris
- Rain – Oran “Juice” Jones
- Raindrops – Dee Clark
- November Rain – Taylor Swift
- Ain’t No Rain – Orianthi
- Tears in the Rain – The Weeknd
- Rainy Days – Boogie (feat. Eminem)
- Raining in My Heart – Richard Marx
- When the Rain Falls – All-4-One
- Rain Over Dublin – Hozier
- Rain or Shine – Paul Carrack
- Rain Falls Hard – Young The Giant
- Thunder and Rain – Graham Nash
- Raining Diamonds – Ricki-Lee
- Purple Rain (Deluxe Edition) – Prince
- Rain – Roy Orbison
- Raining in My Heart – Leo Sayer
Want to Find More Incredible Songs?
If so, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Clouds, the Best Songs About Thunder and Lightning, the Best Songs About the Sun and Sunshine, the Best Songs About Fire, the Best Songs About Dreams, and the Best Songs about Cars for more awesome song selections.
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The Best of the Best Songs About Rain
When you think of rain, you could think of staying in all day, being sad, or possibly relieved. You could also think of rain as refreshing, especially when falling on parched land. After all, rain is a bringer of life, but it’s also echoed in the tears that fall from our faces.
Many artists have used these different aspects of rain to make great songs. While they take different interpretations of the theme, most of them have one thing in common. The strong emotions that rain can evoke, whether positive or negative.
So, the next time you have a rainy day to stare out at, listen to your feelings, and you can surely find yourself a song that will match any emotion that can rain down on you.
Until next time, happy listening.