Brrr. Snow makes us feel uncomfortably cold and yet is stunning to look at.
Singers and songwriters often use snow and other wintertime phenomena as metaphors for human emotions. From chilling breakups to drugs, songs about snow can describe just about anything.
In this guide, we’ll sink our gloves into the best songs about snow.
“Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Song Year: 2001
“Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow” is a somber and hectic song, drawing on the analogy of being buried under snow. The singer feels trapped and abandoned, having no idea where his friends went.
The music video for “Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow” was filmed in the abandoned building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. The video features a party hosted by Cave, with attendees including Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker.
“A Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon & Garfunkel
Song Year: 1966
By the iconic singing duo Simon and Garfunkel, “A Hazy Shade of Winter” uses the analogy of snow blocking out our vision.
The singer is a poet who has not achieved the career he’s longed for. The longer he takes, the hazier his dream becomes.
By the time the song picks up, leaves that were once green have already turned brown. “A Hazy Shade of Winter” is a helpless song with a ticking clock.
“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Frank Sinatra
Song Year: 1950
“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow” has been a cornerstone song of the holiday season since it was first written in 1945. The most popular recording of the song by Frank Sinatra was certified Platinum in Australia and Gold in five other countries.
Over the decades, “Let It Snow!” has been covered by Dean Martin, Jessica Simpson, Michael Bublé, the cast of Glee, and so many more.
“Snowflake” by Kate Bush
Song Year: 2011
“Snowflake” is an incredibly peaceful and soothing song from Kate Bush’s snow-themed album 50 Words for Snow.
“Snowflake” was written for Bush’s son, Bertie, who was 13-years-old at the time of recording. At such a young age, Bertie was able to hit extraordinarily high notes for the song.
Bertie sings the voice of a snowflake on a journey to the ground below. Bush wrote the song about a snowflake to demonstrate the fragility of life.
“Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)” by Laura Marling
Song Year: 2009
“Goodbye England” is a ballad that Laura Marling wrote about her memories of walking to the top of a hill with her father.
The song is about memories and uses the visual of snow covering her hometown. Growing up, we take seeing our hometowns year-round for granted.
Now that Marling is away from home, she finds she misses the beauty of her home in winter: an image she doesn’t know when she’ll see again.
“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes
Song Year: 2008
Meant to only be an introduction video to the album Fleet Foxes, “White Winter Hymnal” is an uplifting song about change.
The song is about growing up and seeing how much people around you change. The song draws on the stark difference between a bright summer and a white winter as a metaphor for how different things become over time.
“20 Years of Snow” by Regina Spektor
Song Year: 2006
“20 Years of Snow” is interestingly both hectic and peaceful. The singer compares the first twenty years of her life to nothing more than snow falling. Regina Spektor is very secretive about her lyrics, so the meaning of “20 Years of Snow” is up to interpretation.
The most striking part of “20 Years of Snow” is its use of piano. The piano notes are soft, fast, and all over the place. Snowflakes don’t typically make noise when hitting the ground, but if they did, we’d imagine they’d sound like this.
“Cold as Ice” by Foreigner
Song Year: 1977
Though it’s more about ice than snow, “Cold as Ice” draws on the overwhelmingly cold feeling of winter weather to describe being heartbroken over a selfish woman.
Its rockin’ piano hooks, intense vocals, and rage-filled lyrics make “Cold as Ice” truly chilling. “Cold as Ice” peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas
Song Year: 1965
Originally recorded by Barry McGuire, “California Dreamin’” is a song that contrasts California with the harshness of winter.
“California Dreamin’” is about longing to be somewhere else. The singers dream of the warmth of California but are stuck in the bitter cold.
Rolling Stone placed “California Dreamin’” as the 89th Greatest Rock Song of All Time.
“Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Song Year: 2008
“Winter Song” is about maintaining friendships, especially in winter. In summer, life moves quickly, but you can always trust your friends will find their way back.
Winter friendships are more difficult to maintain but are also the most rewarding. Keeping each other warm from the cold snow brings about trust and love.
If a relationship can survive the winter, it can survive forever. Love will live on.
“Coldest Winter” by Ye
Song Year: 2008
“Coldest Winter” was written as a eulogy for Donda West, a late professor at Chicago State University and Ye’s mother. The album 808s & Heartbreak featured a fold-out photo of Ye and Donda West together.
The song recounts old memories from a winter-long ago and describes a heart so cold it will never feel love again. “Coldest Winter” is inspired by Tears for Fears’ song “Memories Fade.”
“Angel in the Snow” by Elliott Smith
Song Year: 2007
Originally recorded between 1994 and 1997, Elliot Smith’s “Angel in the Snow” was released posthumously in 2007.
People often disagree on what “Angel in the Snow” is actually about. Some interpret the song to be about cocaine. The lyrics describe the song’s subject being “crushed” and that the singer knows he needs to stop. “Angel” and “snow” are both often associated with cocaine slang.
Some believe “Angel in the Snow” is actually about a relationship that’s filled with both love and toxicity. Not strong enough to let the love go, the singer numbs themself to the cold and pain. Others have concluded that both interpretations are correct.
“Amid the Falling Snow” by Enya
“Amid the Falling Snow” is a holiday song that calls upon childhood nostalgia. It asks the listener to remember the first snowfall they ever saw as children — a truly magical feeling.
“Amid the Falling Snow” was released as part of Enya’s holiday album Amarantine. The album was certified platinum in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Ireland, Germany, France, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
“50 Words for Snow” by Kate Bush
Song Year: 2011
The title track of Kate Bush’s snow-themed album, “50 Words for Snow” is inspired by folklore regarding an old Inuit Eskimo tribe.
According to stories, an anthropologist studied a tribe of Eskimos in the 19th century. He came back recounting that the tribe seemed to have an unlimited number of words to describe snow.
Questions began to rise (and never stopped) over whether the tribe actually had that many words to describe each snowflake. Many people suspected the tribe members were intentionally trying to mess up the anthropologist, knowing he was attempting to understand them.
Bush took this old story as a challenge, writing a song that comes up with as many words for snow as possible, even making some up.
“Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song Year: 2006
One of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ most popular songs, “Snow” uses the visual of snow as an analogy for drugs. The song discusses addiction and being on the verge of finally possibly giving snow up for good.
“Snow” was one of the last Red Hot Chili Peppers songs to feature guitarist John Frusciante before his second departure from the band in 2007.
“The Fox in the Snow” by Belle and Sebastian
Song Year: 1996
“The Fox in the Snow” is a gently melodic song about loneliness. The song follows a fox that’s cold and alone in a snowy landscape.
The fox encounters others on his journey but is still cold and lonely. However, after seeing a child playing in the snow, the fox learns that maybe these emotions he’s feeling aren’t all that bad.
“Valley Winter Song” by Fountains Of Wayne
Song Year: 2003
“Valley Winter Song” is an upbeat song about Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), otherwise referred to as “seasonal depression.” The three first words of the song (aside from “hey”) begin with S, A, and D.
The song describes the repetitiveness of seeing nothing but falling snow outside. With nothing better to do, this song was written.
“While I Shovel the Snow” by The Walkmen
Song Year: 2010
“While I Shovel the Snow” is a song about the simplicity of winter. The lyrics describe a winning streak that’s suddenly halted by the arrival of winter, freezing everything over.
Instead of being upset, the singer accepts winter’s arrival. The slow life’s not so bad, and neither is the snow.
“Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band
Song Year: 2010
“Colder Weather” uses snow as an analogy for an obstacle. It tells the story of a truck driver who can’t get home until the bad weather passes.
The song is about long-distance relationships. Snowy roads aren’t the only obstacles that can keep two lovers apart.
“Colder Weather” reached No. 1 on Billboards Hot Country Songs in the U.S. and Canada.
“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel
Song Year: 2013
The anthem of Disney’s Frozen, “Let It Go” is a song about freeing yourself. Princess Elsa has held back her abilities to create ice and snow for too long and is finally letting go.
“Let It Go” is one of the most well-known songs about snow, using flurries of snow as an analogy for Elsa’s free spirit. The song ends by acknowledging that not even the sun can melt her freedom.
“Cold Rain and Snow” by Grateful Dead
Song Year: 1967
“Cold Rain and Snow” was an old folksong originally written in 1917. The lyrics complain about the singer’s wife, who has given him trouble and made him work his entire life.
The song uses “cold,” “rain,” and “snow” not only to describe the harsh, year-round conditions he works in but to symbolize how uncomfortable their relationship feels.
“Cold Rain and Snow” was part of the Grateful Dead’s first album and was one of their most-used opening numbers at concerts.
“Snowbird” by Anne Murray
Song Year: 1970
Written in under a half-hour by Gene MacLellan, “Snowbird” is a song about longing for freedom.
Whereas the singer is stuck in a snow-laden, heartbroken place, the snowbird can fly to wherever its heart desires. The singer knows in her heart she would fly with the snowbird too if she could.
With “Snowbird,” Anne Murray became Canada’s first solo female artist to have a record be certified gold.
“Velvet Snow” by Kings of Leon
Song Year: 2004
Initially dismissed by critics as a throwaway album track, “Velvet Snow” is possibly among Kings of Leon’s most underrated songs. “Velvet Snow” is upbeat, energetic, and all-around a fun song.
While some interpreted “Velvet Snow” to be about drugs, many concluded the song to be about performing oral sex. Whether intentional by Kings of Leon or not, the term “velvet snow” went on to be slang for the clitoris.
“Snowblind Friend” by Steppenwolf
Song Year: 1970
“Snowblind Friend” is another song to use snow as an analogy for drugs, except this song takes a much more somber approach.
The lyrics describe a friend of some of the band members who died from drug addiction. It goes into detail about the pain of finding this friend and having to tell their family what happened.
“Snowblind” became a slang term in the rock-and-roll world to describe someone struggling with addiction. Songs named “Snowblind” were recorded by Black Sabbath, Styx, and Kiss.
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Billie Holiday
Song Year: 1937
Originally recorded by Irving Berlin for the movie On The Avenue, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is a song about the ferocity of love in a bitter, cold world.
The lyrics use visuals of blowing wind, hanging icicles, and ceaseless snow to contrast how warm she is on the inside. No matter what happens, the love in her heart will keep her pushing forward.
“Winter Things” by Ariana Grande
Song Year: 2015
Released on Grande’s holiday album Christmas & Chill, “Winter Things” is a gentle song with a ukelele accompaniment.
The lyrics describe a holiday season set in hot temperatures. Despite the snow not falling with wonder like previous Christmases, the singer insists this holiday will be no different, complete with ice-skating and getting cozy by the fire.
“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” by Frank Zappa
Song Year: 1974
“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” tells the story of a young Inuit Eskimo named Nanook. Nanook receives two warnings from his mother: watch for Huskies and don’t eat yellow snow.
“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” was the first song of a four-part suite, also called “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.” The next song in the suite, “Nanook Rubs It,” describes an encounter with husky and yellow snow that is best left to the imagination.
Top Songs About Snow, Final Thoughts
We hope you enjoyed our list of songs about snow.
Whether they make us feel cold, alone, or as unique as a snowflake, snow metaphors are a brilliant way to get us to feel chilling emotions.
Though many of these are considered Christmas songs, songs about snow cover far more than just the holiday season.
What is your favorite song about snow? Which songs lyrically use snow the best?