Songwriters have always been fascinated with clouds for their variability and the many different shapes they can take on. Clouds can also affect your mood, so they can embody and represent a litany of different emotions.
This list of best songs about clouds demonstrates the range of meanings of clouds.
“Cloudbusting” by Kate Bush
Song year: 1987
Kate Bush has been known to base her songs on literary figures and books. The Book of Dreams written by Peter Reich inspired the song, Cloudbusting. The book explains the author's relationship with his dad and how he created a device known as the cloudbuster, capable of manipulating orgone energy in the atmosphere.
The dad would use the device to bring down clouds outside and experiment on them, proving that orgone energy existed.
“Little Fluffy Clouds” by The Orb
Song year: 1991
Little Fluffy Clouds is a song about an interview with Rickie Lee Jones, who elocuted in great detail about the Texan skies, which were always full of fluffy clouds during her childhood. The song is very nostalgic because it draws on childhood memories, and this feeling permeates the music.
The video has some excellent examples of cloud types such as stratus, alto cloud, cumulus, cumulonimbus, and more.
“Cloudy” by Simon and Garfunkel
Song year: 1966
This song about clouds has a fun and whimsical feel to it. Interestingly, the lyrics seem simple and straight to the point, reflecting the narrator's thoughts while watching clouds move across the sky. The way clouds form is a metaphor to describe the narrator's thoughts.
As the song is narrated, it speaks about how his thoughts are in disarray or scattered like clouds. The song isn't solely about clouds, but it uses clouds and their attributes to describe how the narrator feels.
“From the Clouds” by Jack Johnson
Song year: 2010
You can interpret these simple lyrics in multiple ways. This song is a love song. However, the chorus possibly describes someone watching the world from the clouds.
The music speaks about a myriad of emotions that people can experience in a relationship and the inherent vulnerabilities, making it one of the broader interpretations for songs about clouds.
“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech
Song year: 2012
Zach Sobiech was both a songwriter and a singer who was just 14 years of age when he was diagnosed with a deadly bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Zach lived with this disease for multiple years before doctors told him that the cancer was terminal as a senior in high school, and he had a little less than a year to live.
This song has an indie-pop tune, and Sobiech wrote it to say goodbye to his loved ones. The music speaks on how his time is short, and pretty soon, he will watch everyone from the clouds.
“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay
Song year: 2014
In this song, the narrator speaks of unconditional love. This electronic dance song uses the symbolism of the vast sky to describe the narrator's heart being full of bright stars. The stars serve as lights to brighten his path while also representing the purity of her spirit.
“Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy
Song year: 2013
The song embodies the confusion that ensues after losing a loved one. There's the tug of war between hope and loss. The narrator asked rhetorical questions concerning her loved ones about whether they are free, happy without fear or pain in heaven.
The narrator is comforted by the thought of the rays of the sun falling on their faces ever so gently in heaven. Furthermore, she hopes they are singing with the angels and dancing in the sky.
“Clouds” by Imagine Dragons
Song year: 2009
Throughout the Dragons' song catalog, the rock band has the recurring motif of anxiety and depression. Moreover, there's the additional theme of struggling with personal acceptance and rejection.
Dan Reynolds, the band's lead singer, was raised in a strict Mormon household, resulting in many personal issues. These issues surface in the lyrics of the song. The narrator, who is depressed, retails stories of disappointments, confusion, and missed opportunities.
Retrospectively, the narrator views his surroundings and notices that everyone is doing the best with their miserable situation; however, it's futile. It becomes a question of whether it would be best to go up to the clouds.
“Clouds” by Montgomery Gentry
Song year: 2006
This song depicts a man stricken with grief confronting a dead loved one in a 2006 country song. Moreover, he longingly wonders if they are in the clouds resting.
The man that his loved one is crying when the clouds are gray. Conversely, sunny days allow him to see their face in the clouds in the sky. This thought is comforting, that deceased loved ones have taken up residence in the sky.
“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell
Song year: 1966
This classic song by Joni Mitchell describes what she can see in the clouds. She's able to see ice cream castles, feather canyons, and angels right before clouds begin to obstruct her view.
This song is about perspective more than anything. A cloud can take on beautiful shapes, and they can be harbingers of bad things to come, such as inclement weather. It's all contingent on how you choose to look at it.
“Clouds” by NF
Song year: 2021
The song gets the name “Clouds” because it talks about how the rapper's head is in the clouds as he strives to be true to himself and acknowledges that he is different from most other rappers in Hollywood.
He makes it clear that he won't have the stereotypical gold chains and watches, cars, and women that most rappers are known to have. Instead, he was chosen (assumedly by God based on some lyrics in the song) to stand out and drift through life.
“Just a Cloud” by Lusine
Song year: 2017
“Just a Cloud” is about the desire to be unbothered, unencumbered, and weightless in the sky. It is juxtaposed with the fact that we can feel weighed down by all of the things that happen to us in life.
In those moments, that's when we can wish that we could kind of drift up and away, be like a cloud, just there, watching life pass by, without a care in the world.
“On My Cloud” by Olly Murs
Song year: 2011
The song talks about going through life at a steady pace and wanting the company of your love interest. The singer asks the girl he loves to get up on his cloud to fly away with him, and he promises not to disappoint her.
He essentially tells her that the world is their oyster, and anything can happen if she'll only take a chance on him and get up on his cloud.
“Clouds” by Chaka Khan
Song year: 1980
This song is seemingly about love and relationships, and goals and aspirations in general that don't go the way we want them to. It uses the imagery of rainy clouds and how tears fall like rain to make the point that the singer is concerned about her future.
Clouds can change shapes and sizes, much like the outcomes of different situations in life. They can both block and reveal, cause happiness or make us feel dreary. This title is one of Chaka's most relatable songs.
“Heavy Cloud No Rain” by Sting
Song year: 1993
The song talks about expectations and empty anticipation. The singer discusses different situations where he wants relief and hope in some instances, but as he looks to the sky, there's a “heavy cloud but no rain.”
Essentially, he waits for saving grace or signs that things will go his way, but he continues to wait in vain. The relief from whatever he's experiencing never comes. The hope is there, but it never comes to fruition.
“Clouds Over California” by DevilDriver
Song year: 2007
A band member disclosed that the song “Clouds Over California” is about elements of struggling and what they entail while being a band member. It's also about being motivated to do what you want to do and having the courage to go for it.
However, the clouds which linger over your head refuse to go away. Staying true to the common theme that dark clouds can affect our mood and, in most cases, represents some obstacle to overcome.
“Gap in the Clouds” by Yellow Days
Song year: 2016
“Gap in the Clouds” is a fairly sad song that discusses how you sometimes feel discouraged by everything that life throws at you.
The lyrics talk about searching for any gaps in the clouds so that the singer can see the sky. It speaks to the desire for a moment of relief from life's hardships.
The emotional and soulful feel to this song makes it easy to get drawn into the poetic lyrics as the singer shares a vulnerable struggle they're experiencing.
“Black Clouds” by Papa Roach
Song year: 2002
One topic that has gained much attention and makes us feel compassion for others is mental health issues. The narrator uses black clouds to describe difficult and emotional situations that they carry daily.
The lyrics are powerful and raw, though the song is on the heavier side, and many would say it's bleak. It speaks to self-destruction and feeling defeated and shows glimpses of hope here and there. Overall, you understand that the black clouds won't go away.
“Clouds” by BØRNS
Song year: 2015
This song is very relatable, especially when you encounter your first love. A popular phrase that we've all heard is having your “head in the clouds.” It signifies being carefree and unaware of what's happening around you because you're daydreaming.
“Clouds” talks about being infatuated with someone, and as a result, their head is in the clouds.
“Get Off My Cloud” by The Rolling Stones
Song year: 1965
“Get Off My Cloud” has an exciting story because the Rolling Stones chose a cloud to display their annoyance with being pressured. In 1965 their single, “Satisfaction,” was number one on the charts.
The happiness from that accomplishment was short-lived because the people soon bombarded them with questions about when they'd make another song. Finally, after three months, “Get Off My Cloud” was their way off being asked to be left alone, saying that they were being crowded and that others should mellow out and give them a break.
“Wake Up in the Sky” by Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, and Kodak Black
Song year: 2018
“Wake Up in the Sky” is a story about living the life as a bachelor or playboy, having the time of their lives “living in the sky,” which is an illusion to being high off of life, so to speak, up high, untouchable at the moment thanks to the decadent lifestyle that wealth provides.
The song narrators talk about their rags to riches story of success and how they love the luxury they now experience. Although focused on material belongings and experiences, the song is catchy, if nothing else.
“King of the Clouds” by Panic! At the Disco
Song year: 2018
It's hard to know what this track is talking about because the singer himself was in the middle of rambling while being high when he created this song. The topics range from Carl Sagan to inter-dimensional travel, to the multiverse, to being king of the clouds. Brandon Urie went on about these and other topics while in the middle of a writing session with his songwriting partners.
He hadn't realized that his partner was taking notes on what he said, which ended with flying high, getting lost in the clouds, and experiencing bliss. Despite the discombobulated lyrics and their origin, the song performed quite well upon release.
“Behind the Clouds” by Brad Paisley
Song year: 2006
“Behind the Clouds” is a reminder to keep pushing when life gets challenging. Our human instincts are to survive, and this song highlights how life often forces us to our limits, and we have to weather the storm. Brad Paisley reminds the audience that the sun still shines behind the clouds, whether you can see it or not.
The main message is that it might take some time to reach, but like the sun comes out after a long thunderstorm, the person going through tough times has to remember that the sun is waiting to greet them eventually. So, while acknowledging struggles, this song focuses on hope and restoration.
“I'll Follow You Up to Our Cloud” by George Jones
Song year: 1971
Known as one of George Jones' most memorable ballads, this song is well-written and profound. It reflects the love that an older man has for his wife. He doesn't want to think about how she'll feel if he leaves her alone when he dies.
He reconciles that he'll hold on to life until his wife is also at the end of her life. It's a deep song that tugs at the heartstrings when you think about a love so mature that's has withstood the test of time and is still robust.
“You're the Cloud I'm on (When I'm High)” by George Strait
Song year: 1983
George Strait speaks to something many people can identify with as it relates to how overwhelming, exciting, surreal, and even heavenly it feels to fall in love. Strait takes the listener on a journey about how much he loves a woman and how he's willing to follow her anywhere.
He describes the woman as being the cloud that he's on, up high, in a state of euphoria. He illustrates how the woman's love for him and his love for her takes him sailing into the sky, high off of love and not wanting the feeling to end.
“Cloudy Days” by Waylon Jennings
Song year: 1974
As we've all experienced by now, we have ups and downs throughout life and some days are more challenging to deal with than others. A cloudy day is typically a symbol of gloominess and dread. As Waylon Jennings tells us about the dark cloud that hangs over him and questions when it will go away, we experience his heartbreak.
He's still reeling from the effects of the woman he loves leaving him alone. He wonders how long the pain will last, as some days are more manageable and others are a painful reminder of his loneliness.
“Clouds Across the Sun” by Firewall
Song year: 1980
We know that clouds across the sun represent something blocking the light, which is happiness. In the song, the narrator tells you about how he's waited for a certain woman and her love, and the moment she's gone, it feels like clouds across the sun.
He details the times they've spent together, dancing all night, lying under the stars, talking and laughing. It's a stark contrast between how he felt when she was gone; he was empty and despondent because he knew she was gone for good.
“No More Cloudy Days” by The Eagles
Song year: 2005
“No More Cloudy Days” is a beautiful song that talks about the feelings of sadness that come with heartache. It can take some time before you feel like yourself again when you lose someone. However, the singers tell you how it's okay to love again; he vows not to mistreat the woman or let her down or become a disappointment to her.
He reassures her that the cloudy days are passing and that he, too, has experienced what she's going through. It's a story by The Eagles about finding happiness again after pain and not being afraid to take a chance.
“Mighty Clouds of Joy” by B.J. Thomas
Song year: 1971
This religious song instills hope that the pain and heartache that we go through will have no choice but to dissipate when they get overtaken by the “mighty clouds of joy,” which is the love of Jesus.
If you deem yourself a religious person, this is an inspirational song to hold on to hope as it promises that help is on the way.
Top Songs About Clouds, Final Thoughts
There are numerous metaphors that singers can create when using clouds as a theme. Songs about clouds have been the inspiration for excellent music across various genres.
It's not surprising that an element of nature can impress upon our emotions and mean different things at different times. These songs about clouds express happiness, grief, sadness, joy, hope, and more.