12 Powerful Songs about Lightning

Lightning, with its bright flashes and deafening booms, has fascinated and frightened people throughout history. The raw power and unpredictability of this natural phenomenon has inspired artists and musicians to create works that capture its intensity and beauty. From the crashing riffs of heavy metal to the ethereal melodies of indie rock, lightning has been the subject of countless songs across a wide range of genres.

In this list of 12 powerful songs about lightning, we will explore how different artists have interpreted and expressed their fascination with this elemental force. We will take a journey through the thunderous anthems of rock legends like Aerosmith and Iron Maiden, the dreamy indie pop of Foals and Snow Patrol, and the classic sound of John Travolta in Grease.

Whether it’s a celebration of the raw power of nature, a metaphor for the intense emotions of love, or a warning of impending doom, these songs capture the excitement and terror of one of the most awe-inspiring forces on earth. So, sit back, relax, and let these 12 powerful songs about lightning electrify your senses.

1.Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf

“Smokestack Lightning” is a classic blues song written and originally recorded by Howlin’ Wolf in 1956. The song is built around a driving, relentless rhythm and Wolf’s powerful vocals, which combine to create a sense of urgency and intensity that captures the spirit of the blues. The lyrics evoke the image of a train hurtling down the tracks, with the smokestack serving as a powerful symbol of the raw power and energy that Wolf brings to his music. With its iconic riff and timeless appeal, “Smokestack Lightning” remains one of the most beloved and influential blues songs of all time.

2.Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

“Lightning Bolt” is a high-energy, indie-rock song by British singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, released in 2012 as the lead single from his self-titled debut album. The song features a catchy guitar riff and Bugg’s distinctive, youthful voice, which delivers lyrics about the rush of falling in love and the thrill of taking risks. With its infectious melody and upbeat tempo, “Lightning Bolt” captures the exuberance of youth and the excitement of new experiences. The song’s popularity helped to establish Bugg as a rising star in the indie music scene and remains one of his most recognizable and beloved tracks.

3.Like Lightning – Foals

“Like Lightning” is a fast-paced, electro-rock song by British band Foals, released in 2019 as part of their “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost” album. The song is driven by a pulsating beat, distorted guitars, and frontman Yannis Philippakis’ frenetic vocals, creating a sense of urgency and intensity that matches the song’s lyrics. Philippakis sings about the fleeting nature of time and the importance of seizing the moment, with a chorus that urges the listener to “run like lightning.” With its mix of electronic and rock elements, “Like Lightning” is a standout track in Foals’ catalog, showcasing the band’s versatility and energy.

4.Crying Lightning – Arctic Monkeys

“Crying Lightning” is a haunting, indie-rock song by the Arctic Monkeys, released in 2009 as the lead single from their third studio album “Humbug”. The song features Alex Turner’s distinctive, poetic lyrics delivered in his signature northern English accent, over a haunting melody and a hypnotic drumbeat. The song describes a romantic encounter that turns sour, with Turner painting vivid images of a woman with “crying lightning” in her hair. The dark, atmospheric sound of the song, combined with Turner’s evocative storytelling, makes “Crying Lightning” a standout track in the Arctic Monkeys’ discography, and a fan favourite.

5.The Lightning Strike (What if This Storm Ends?) – Snow Patrol

“The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends?)” is a epic, three-part song by Northern Irish band Snow Patrol, released in 2009 as the final track on their album “A Hundred Million Suns”. The song is driven by a gradual build-up of tension, starting with gentle piano and guitar riffs, building to a soaring chorus, and eventually exploding into a thunderous finale. The lyrics speak to the power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit, with singer Gary Lightbody pondering the possibilities of what might happen “if this storm ends”. “The Lightning Strike” is a tour de force of emotion and musicianship, and remains one of Snow Patrol’s most ambitious and beloved tracks.

6.The Shock of the Lightning – Oasis

“The Shock of the Lightning” is a hard-driving, psychedelic rock song by the legendary British band Oasis, released in 2008 as the lead single from their final album “Dig Out Your Soul”. The song is built around a driving drumbeat and a catchy guitar riff, with Liam Gallagher’s distinctive vocals delivering lyrics that describe the electric, thrilling feeling of falling in love. The chorus features a soaring melody and a sing-along chorus that is typical of Oasis’ most iconic hits. With its vintage sound and stadium-ready energy, “The Shock of the Lightning” is a standout track in Oasis’ later career, and a reminder of their enduring impact on the rock genre.

7.Lightning Strikes The Postman – The Flaming Lips

“Lightning Strikes the Postman” is a surreal and dreamy indie rock song by The Flaming Lips, featured on their 1995 album “Clouds Taste Metallic”. The song starts with a slow, plodding beat, but quickly builds in intensity with the introduction of a catchy, repetitive guitar riff and frontman Wayne Coyne’s ethereal vocals. The lyrics describe the apocalyptic image of lightning striking the mailman, and the strange and unexpected events that follow. With its meandering structure and unusual subject matter, “Lightning Strikes the Postman” is a perfect example of the eccentric and imaginative songwriting that has made The Flaming Lips a beloved and influential band in the indie rock world.

8.Lightning – The Wanted

“Lightning” is an up-tempo pop song by British-Irish boy band The Wanted, released in 2012 as the lead single from their third studio album “Word of Mouth”. The song features a bouncy electronic beat and a catchy, sing-along chorus that is typical of the group’s biggest hits. The lyrics describe the feeling of being swept off one’s feet by a new love, with the singer proclaiming that he’s “never gonna let you go”. With its high-energy production and infectious melody, “Lightning” is a quintessential pop song, and remains one of The Wanted’s most popular and beloved tracks among their fanbase.

9.Lightning Strikes – Aerosmith

“Lightning Strikes” is a hard-rocking song by American rock band Aerosmith, released in 1982 as the lead single from their album “Rock in a Hard Place”. The song features Joe Perry’s signature guitar riffs and Steven Tyler’s powerful vocals, delivering lyrics about the irresistible pull of a passionate love affair. With its driving beat and infectious chorus, “Lightning Strikes” showcases the band’s raw, unapologetic energy and signature sound. Despite being released during a turbulent time for the band, “Lightning Strikes” remains a fan favourite and a staple of Aerosmith’s live shows, demonstrating the enduring power and influence of the band on the rock genre.

10.Saw Lightning – Beck

“Saw Lightning” is a rootsy, blues-inspired song by American musician Beck, released in 2019 as the lead single from his album “Hyperspace”. The song features a stripped-down arrangement of acoustic guitar, harmonica, and drum machine, with Beck’s distinctive vocals delivering lyrics that describe the sudden, electrifying experience of falling in love. The chorus features a catchy, sing-along melody that highlights Beck’s ability to craft a memorable hook. With its blend of classic blues and contemporary production techniques, “Saw Lightning” is a standout track in Beck’s discography, and a testament to his versatility and creativity as a musician.

11.Greased Lightning – John Travolta

“Greased Lightning” is an upbeat, high-energy song performed by American actor and singer John Travolta, featured in the 1978 film “Grease”. The song is a tribute to a fictional hot rod car of the same name, and features a driving rock and roll beat, with Travolta’s charismatic vocals delivering lyrics that celebrate the car’s speed and power. The song is accompanied by an iconic dance sequence in the movie, featuring Travolta and his fellow cast members performing synchronized dance moves around the car. With its catchy melody and unforgettable chorus, “Greased Lightning” has become a classic rock anthem, and a beloved part of the “Grease” cultural legacy.

12.Lightning Strikes Twice – Iron Maiden

“Lightning Strikes Twice” is a fast-paced and heavy metal song by British band Iron Maiden, released in 2010 as a bonus track on the special edition of their album “The Final Frontier”. The song features the band’s signature dueling guitars, with a chugging riff and driving beat that perfectly complement Bruce Dickinson’s soaring vocals. The lyrics describe the power of nature and the inescapable force of fate, with the chorus proclaiming that “lightning strikes twice” as a warning of impending doom. With its raw energy and classic Iron Maiden sound, “Lightning Strikes Twice” is a standout track for fans of the band and the heavy metal genre.

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