- 1. Winter – The Rolling Stones
- 2. A Hazy Shade Of Winter – Simon & Garfunkel
- 3. Winterlong – Neil Young
- 4. Wintertime Love – The Doors
- 5. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
- 6. Snow (Hey Oh) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- 7. Coldest Winter – Kanye West
- 8. Winter In My Heart – The Avett Brothers
- 9. Winter Things – Ariana Grande
- 10. My Love Is Winter – The Smashing Pumpkins
- 11. Cold Cold Ground – Tom Waits
- 12. The Hounds Of Winter – Sting
- 13. Winter Time – Steve Miller Band
- 14. Winter Song – Sara Bareilles
- 15. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
- 16. Winter’s Ballad – Cuco
- 17. Cold Weather Blues – Muddy Waters
- 18. A Winter’s Tale – Queen
- 19. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
- 20. Winter – Tori Amos
Winter is a season that evokes many emotions, from the joy of the holidays to the sadness of long, cold nights. It is a time when the natural world seems to slow down and turn inward, as if preparing for a long rest. Music has the power to capture these complex emotions and create a sonic landscape that reflects the mood of the season. The 20 decidedly chilly songs about winter selected for this list offer a diverse range of musical styles, from classic rock to blues to indie pop.
Some songs, like “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and The Papas, evoke a sense of longing for warmer weather, while others, like “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band, capture the pain of being alone during the winter months. Muddy Waters’ “Cold Weather Blues” offers a raw and unvarnished depiction of the hardships faced by those living in poverty during the winter season, while Queen’s “A Winter’s Tale” offers a romantic tribute to the power of love to overcome the distance between two people.
Tori Amos’ “Winter” is a haunting and introspective piano ballad that explores the emotional landscape of the winter season, while Cuco’s “Winter’s Ballad” is a dreamy indie pop track that captures the melancholy mood of winter. From the iconic California sound of “California Dreamin'” to the raw power of Muddy Waters’ blues, these 20 decidedly chilly songs about winter offer a diverse and compelling portrait of the emotional landscape of the season.
1. Winter – The Rolling Stones
“Winter” by The Rolling Stones is a melancholic ballad that captures the feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with the season. The song features Mick Jagger’s emotive vocals over a sparse, haunting arrangement of acoustic guitars, piano, and strings. The lyrics touch on themes of nostalgia, regret, and the passage of time, making “Winter” a poignant reflection on life’s ups and downs.
2. A Hazy Shade Of Winter – Simon & Garfunkel
“A Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon & Garfunkel is a jangly, upbeat rock song that contrasts with the somber tone of its predecessor. The song features the duo’s signature harmonies and a driving rhythm section, with lyrics that speak to the fleeting nature of youth and the need to live in the present. “A Hazy Shade of Winter” is a classic slice of 60s pop, with a catchy melody and memorable hooks that have made it a beloved track for generations.
3. Winterlong – Neil Young
“Winterlong” by Neil Young is a gentle, acoustic ballad that celebrates the simple pleasures of winter. The song features Young’s distinctive vocals and fingerpicking guitar style, with lyrics that evoke the beauty and tranquility of the season. “Winterlong” is a hopeful and uplifting song that encourages listeners to slow down, appreciate the natural world, and find joy in the small moments.
4. Wintertime Love – The Doors
“Wintertime Love” by The Doors is a dreamy, psychedelic track that captures the sense of wonder and possibility that comes with the winter season. The song features Jim Morrison’s hypnotic vocals over a lush, orchestral arrangement, with lyrics that explore themes of love, magic, and transformation. “Wintertime Love” is a unique and memorable song that showcases The Doors’ experimental and boundary-pushing approach to rock music.
5. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes is a hauntingly beautiful track that paints a picture of a serene winter landscape. The song features intricate harmonies and vocal layering that creates a sense of warmth and togetherness. The lyrics tell a story of a winter day, with images of snowfall and the changing of seasons. The acoustic guitar and banjo add to the folk-inspired feel of the track, while the percussion and piano provide a subtle yet impactful backdrop for the vocals. Overall, “White Winter Hymnal” is a captivating and ethereal piece of music that is perfect for cold winter nights.
6. Snow (Hey Oh) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers is an upbeat and catchy rock song that captures the excitement and energy of winter. The track features a driving guitar riff and a prominent bassline that propels the song forward. The lyrics are optimistic and speak of hope and perseverance, even in the face of adversity. The chorus is particularly infectious, with the repeated refrain of “Hey, oh, listen what I say, oh” providing a memorable hook. The song also features a soaring guitar solo and a bridge section that showcases the band’s musical proficiency. “Snow (Hey Oh)” is a lively and uplifting track that is sure to get you moving.
7. Coldest Winter – Kanye West
“Coldest Winter” by Kanye West is a melancholic and emotional track that explores the pain of loss and heartbreak. The song is built around a sample of the melody from “Memories Fade” by Tears for Fears, with haunting synth and piano accompaniment. The lyrics are deeply personal and raw, with West addressing the memory of his late mother and the pain that comes with losing someone close. The chorus features a repeated refrain of “Goodbye my friend, will I ever love again?” that captures the feeling of grief and longing. Overall, “Coldest Winter” is a powerful and moving tribute to a loved one who has passed.
8. Winter In My Heart – The Avett Brothers
“Winter In My Heart” by The Avett Brothers is a bittersweet and introspective track that speaks to the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can come with the winter season. The song features a sparse and delicate arrangement, with acoustic guitar and piano providing the backdrop for the brothers’ tender vocals. The lyrics are poetic and evocative, with images of snowfall and barren trees creating a sense of desolation. The chorus features the repeated refrain of “Winter in my heart, Spring in my head,” suggesting a sense of hope and renewal in the face of hardship. Overall, “Winter In My Heart” is a poignant and beautiful meditation on the emotional complexity of the winter season.
9. Winter Things – Ariana Grande
“Winter Things” by Ariana Grande is a playful and festive pop song that celebrates the joys of the winter season. The track features a bouncy rhythm and a catchy melody, with Grande’s vocals bouncing between high and low registers. The lyrics are light and cheerful, with references to winter activities like sledding and drinking hot cocoa. The chorus is particularly memorable, with the repeated refrain of “Let’s be cozy, the weather outside is frightful” creating a sense of warmth and togetherness. Overall, “Winter Things” is a fun and lighthearted addition to any winter playlist.
10. My Love Is Winter – The Smashing Pumpkins
“My Love Is Winter” by The Smashing Pumpkins is a moody and atmospheric rock song that captures the introspective and reflective mood of the winter season. The track features a brooding guitar riff and a driving rhythm section, with Billy Corgan’s distinctive vocals adding an ethereal quality to the song. The lyrics are poetic and introspective, with themes of loneliness and isolation running throughout. The chorus features a repeated refrain of “My love is winter, my love is lost,” capturing the feeling of longing and heartbreak that can come with the colder months. Overall, “My Love Is Winter” is a haunting and evocative piece of music that is perfect for a reflective winter night.
11. Cold Cold Ground – Tom Waits
“Cold Cold Ground” by Tom Waits is a bluesy and atmospheric track that evokes the dark and somber mood of the winter season. The song features Waits’ distinctive gravelly vocals, accompanied by a mournful violin and a sparse guitar accompaniment. The lyrics are haunting and poetic, with themes of death and despair running throughout. The chorus features a repeated refrain of “Now the only thing a gambler needs is a suitcase and a trunk, and the only time he’s satisfied is when he’s on a drunk,” capturing the gritty and desperate nature of the song’s protagonist. Overall, “Cold Cold Ground” is a powerful and evocative piece of music that showcases Waits’ unique talent for storytelling.
12. The Hounds Of Winter – Sting
“The Hounds of Winter” by Sting is a haunting and atmospheric track that explores the theme of isolation and loneliness during the winter season. The song features a sparse arrangement, with Sting’s plaintive vocals accompanied by a gentle guitar and keyboard accompaniment. The lyrics are introspective and poetic, with images of snow and ice creating a sense of desolation. The chorus features a repeated refrain of “The hounds of winter, they are howling in my head,” capturing the feeling of inner turmoil and emotional pain. Overall, “The Hounds of Winter” is a beautiful and haunting piece of music that speaks to the emotional complexity of the winter season.
13. Winter Time – Steve Miller Band
“Winter Time” by Steve Miller Band is a classic rock track that celebrates the joy and excitement of the winter season. The song features a driving rhythm and a catchy guitar riff, with Miller’s vocals adding a sense of urgency to the lyrics. The chorus is particularly memorable, with the repeated refrain of “Winter time, don’t you know that it’s here?” capturing the excitement and anticipation of the season. The lyrics are playful and upbeat, with references to winter activities like skating and skiing. Overall, “Winter Time” is a fun and energetic addition to any winter playlist.
14. Winter Song – Sara Bareilles
“Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson is a gentle and introspective track that speaks to the emotional complexity of the winter season. The song features a delicate piano accompaniment and the two singers’ harmonizing vocals, creating a sense of warmth and intimacy. The lyrics are poetic and evocative, with images of snow and ice creating a sense of stillness and contemplation. The chorus features a repeated refrain of “This is my winter song to you, the storm is coming soon,” capturing the sense of impending change and uncertainty that can come with the colder months. Overall, “Winter Song” is a beautiful and heartfelt meditation on the emotional landscape of the winter season.
15. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
“Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band is a country ballad about a man who is constantly on the move and struggling to maintain a relationship with his lover. He compares himself to a bird that can’t stay in one place for too long, while longing for the warmth and comfort of his partner’s embrace. The song is characterized by its poignant lyrics, Zac Brown’s soulful vocals, and the band’s signature blend of country, rock, and folk.
16. Winter’s Ballad – Cuco
“Winter’s Ballad” by Cuco is a dreamy indie pop track that captures the melancholy mood of winter. Cuco’s ethereal vocals and the haunting melody create an atmosphere of nostalgia and longing, as the singer reflects on lost love and the passing of time. The song features a lush arrangement of guitars, keyboards, and strings, evoking a sense of quiet beauty and introspection. Overall, “Winter’s Ballad” is a poignant and introspective reflection on the emotional landscape of the winter season.
17. Cold Weather Blues – Muddy Waters
“Cold Weather Blues” by Muddy Waters is a classic blues track that captures the raw emotion and pain of being alone during the cold winter months. The song’s driving rhythm and Muddy Waters’ distinctive vocals create a sense of urgency and despair, as he sings about the loneliness and isolation that comes with the winter season. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the hardships faced by those living in poverty, and the song serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of the blues.
18. A Winter’s Tale – Queen
“A Winter’s Tale” by Queen is a romantic ballad that tells the story of two lovers separated by the winter season. Freddie Mercury’s soaring vocals and Brian May’s delicate guitar work create a sense of longing and wistfulness, as the singer describes the beauty of the winter landscape and the sadness of being apart from his beloved. The song’s rich harmonies and orchestral arrangement give it a timeless quality, making it a favorite among fans of Queen’s classic rock sound. Overall, “A Winter’s Tale” is a moving tribute to the power of love to transcend distance and time.
19. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
“California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and the Papas is a classic folk rock song that has become an iconic representation of the California sound. The song’s opening lines, “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey”, immediately transport the listener to a time and place, evoking the melancholic mood of a winter’s day. The song’s rich harmonies and lush instrumentation create a sense of warmth and nostalgia, as the singers dream of warmer days and a brighter future.
20. Winter – Tori Amos
“Winter” by Tori Amos is a haunting piano ballad that captures the isolation and sadness of the winter season. Amos’ ethereal vocals and minimalist piano accompaniment create an atmosphere of introspection and solitude, as she sings about the difficulties of facing the cold and dark days of winter alone. The song’s sparse instrumentation and haunting melody give it a sense of intimacy and vulnerability, making it a favorite among Amos’ fans. Overall, “Winter” is a poignant and evocative exploration of the emotional landscape of the winter season.